“I do do a lot of things philanthropically,” the 50-year-old billionaire told Entertainment Tonight at the 2022 Met Gala in New York City on Monday, May 2, defending himself from critics who’ve suggested he could have spent the $44 billion on something charitable instead. “Really, my companies are intended to do good for the future of humanity.”
The South Africa native went on to cite Tesla as an example of how he’s “trying to accelerate the advances in sustainable transport and energy,” adding that SpaceX — in addition to attempting to put humans on Mars — is “providing internet to the lesser [served] people of the world.”
Musk also claimed that his company’s Starlink terminals are helping to “give connectivity” in the “hardest hit” areas of Ukraine, which is currently at war with Russia. “So, aspirationially, I am trying to do good for humanity and the future of civilization,” he continued.
The Tesla founder attended the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” Met Gala with his mother, Maye Musk, who joked that her son won’t take her advice. “I told him not to take on the world and the universe and he didn’t listen,” the model, 74, told ET. “He doesn’t listen to his mom.”
Elon struck a deal to buy Twitter on April 25 after days of tweeting about what he would do with the company if it were his. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” he said in a statement announcing the deal. “Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
The purchase sparked concern among politicians and cultural critics, many of whom worry that the entrepreneur will roll back some of the social media site’s community standards that are designed to protect users from abuse.
“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans,” he continued in his statement.
Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been outspoken about reining in billionaires’ power, slammed the deal as “dangerous” for United States democracy. “Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else, accumulating power for their own gain,” she tweeted last month. “We need a wealth tax and strong rules to hold Big Tech accountable.”
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