Elon Musk is questioning a possible a-tok-alypse.
The Tesla mogul is stirring the online cauldron yet again after postulating that TikTok could be accelerating the decline of global civilization. A tweet detailing the centibillioniaire’s controversial theory currently boasted over 425,000 likes as of Tuesday morning.
“Is TikTok destroying civilization? Some people think so,” tweeted Musk, 50, adding in a follow-up tweet, “Or perhaps social media in general.” In the past, the Chinese video-sharing app has been blamed for spawning dumb and dangerous social media trends from the potentially deadly skull-breaker challenge to the slap your teacher game.
The SpaceX boss’ remarks are a 180 from comments he’d made in a recent virtual meeting with Twitter employees following his $44 billion bid to acquire the social media platform. During the sit-down, Musk had praised the Chinese video-sharing app for “doing a great job of making sure you’re not bored,” according to Business Insider.
“I do find some of their videos offensive, but they’re not boring,” added the serial entrepreneur, who attributed TikTok’s attention-grabbing prowess to the fact that they “honed the algorithm to be as engaging as possible.”
Describing using the Gen Z-targeting video platform for the first time, Musk said: “‘It does just feel like ADD [attention deficit disorder]… But like, next level.” While he was clearly being hyperbolic, last year, doctors warned of a frightening phenomenon in which young girls started exhibiting tic-like symptoms — which they attributed to them parroting popular influencers with Tourette syndrome.
Despite TikTok’s purported shortcomings, Musk said he wants Twitter to have a similar engagement but “in a different way.”
“TikTok is interesting, but you want to be informed about serious issues as well,” the Neuralink mastermind said.
Elsewhere in the meeting, Musk outlined his free speech policy for Twitter, claiming that users should be able to “say what they want” as long as it doesn’t “violate the law,” The New York Times reported.
Last week, the aerospace visionary fired several SpaceX employees who’d released an open letter criticizing their CEO.