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Musk addresses criticism on Twitter, strain on G-20 forum


NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — Being Elon Musk isn’t easy. This was the message of the new owner of Twitter and …

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — Being Elon Musk isn’t easy.

That was the message the new owner of Twitter and the billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX had for young people who might try to emulate his entrepreneurial success.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Musk said at a business forum in Bali on Monday when asked what the future “Elon Musk of the East” should focus on.

“I’m not sure how many people would like to be me. They would like to be who they think they are, which is not the same at all,” he continued. “I mean, torturing myself is next level, honestly.”

Musk spoke at the B-20 business forum before a the Group of 20 summit leading economies taking place on the Indonesian resort island. He joined the video conference a few weeks after completing his hard-hitting Twitter takeover.

He was expected to attend the event in person, but Indonesian government minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, who is in charge of coordinating preparations for the summit, said Musk could not attend because he was preparing for a court hearing later in the week.

He has other things to do.

“My workload has increased a lot lately,” he said with a laugh, referring to the Twitter deal. “I mean, oh man. I have too much work, that’s for sure.’

The entrepreneur appeared in a darkened room, saying that the electricity had been turned off before the connection.

His face, projected on a large screen above the summit hall, appeared to glow red as it reflected in the candlelight – he noted that the appearance was “so strange”.

While Musk was one of the most anticipated speakers at the business forum, his remarks did not break new ground. Only the moderator could ask questions.

Tesla’s chief executive said the electric car maker would consider a much cheaper model when asked about cheaper options for G-20 developing countries such as India and Indonesia.

“We think making a much more affordable vehicle would make a lot of sense, and we have to do something about it,” he said.

Musk also reiterated his desire to significantly increase the number and length of Twitter’s video offerings and share revenue with the people who create the content, though he did not provide specifics.

He bought Twitter last month for $44 billion and quickly fired the company’s board of directors and senior management.

He laid off most of the company’s remaining full-time workforce by email on November 4 and now elimination of outsourcing contractor jobs tasked with combating misinformation and other harmful content.

Musk has promised to remove restrictions on what users can say on the platform.

It received a ton of complaints — mostly from within Twitter itself — and tried to reassure companies that advertise on the platform and others that it wouldn’t hurt their brands by linking them to harmful content.

In an appearance on Monday, Musk acknowledged the criticism.

“There’s no way to make everyone happy, that’s for sure,” he said.

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