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Elon Musk questions if TikTok is ‘destroying civilization’

·2-min read
Elon Musk questions if TikTok is ‘destroying civilization’

Elon Musk has questioned if TikTok or social media platforms are “destroying civilization” as the world’s richest man continues his $44bn purchase of Twitter.

The billionaire slammed the popular video-sharing app following a report that employees of its Chinese parent company Bytedance have accessed private data from US users.

“Is TikTok destroying civilization? Some people think so,” the Telsa boss tweeted. “Or perhaps social media in general.”

TikTok’s Chinese ownership has caused the app to come under scrutiny in the US, with former president Donald Trump signing an executive order in 2020 that sought to ban it. Joe Biden quickly reversed this after he entered the White House.

The Tesla boss, who is also the world’s richest person, had his bid to takeover Twitter accepted by the San Francisco-based company’s board in April.

Despite not yet owning the platform, Mr Musk called into an all-hands meeting on Thursday to answer questions from staff and lay out his vision for the company.

During the meeting, he reportedly told staff that he found some videos on TikTok to be “offensive” but said that the app “does a great job of making sure you’re not bored”, according to Insider.

“I mean, it does just feel like ADD,” he said, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by the outlet. “But like, next level.”

He also said that if Twitter wants to be more successful it should aim for one billion users, and that the company should model itself on China’s WeChat app, which has more than 1.2bn users.

“You basically live on WeChat in China….if we can recreate that with Twitter we’ll be a great success,” he told the meeting.

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