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Musk blasts BBC reporter who claims Twitter has rise in hate speech: 'You can't name a single example'

Twitter owner Elon Musk blasted a BBC reporter in a recent interview for not being able to provide an example of the hate speech he claimed he has seen proliferate on the site.

Billionaire and Twitter owner Elon Musk blasted a BBC reporter during an interview Tuesday, forcing him to admit he had no specific examples of hate speech he claimed he had seen proliferating on the platform since Musk bought it last year. 

During the "hastily arranged, unexpected" interview between Musk and BBC reporter James Clayton, as the British outlet described it, the two had a tense exchange about the rise of hate speech on the platform.

After Clayton brought up the subject – echoing criticisms from various mainstream media outlets that Musk’s Twitter has allowed hate speech to flourish – the world’s richest man demanded the reporter give him one example of hate speech he had personally seen on Twitter.

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Shockingly, Clayton had no examples prepared, and Musk grilled him for it.

Musk began picking Clayton apart by asking him to "describe a hateful thing" he's seen on Twitter, to which the journalist replied, "You know, just content that will solicit a reaction, something that may include something is slightly racist, or slightly sexist – those kinds of things."

Musk then asked, "So you think if something is slightly sexist it should be banned? Is that what you’re saying?" Clayton replied, "No, I’m not saying anything."

He mentioned that, at the very least, his Twitter "feed" has "got slightly more" hate speech on it than prior to Musk owning the platform.

Pressing him on it, Musk asked, "Can you name one example?" A flustered Clayton admitted, "Honestly, I don’t – I don’t …" At this point, Musk became amused and asked, "You can’t name a single example?"

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The reporter provided an excuse to justify not being able to back up his claims. "I’ll tell you why," he said, adding, "because I don’t actually use that ‘For You’ feed anymore because I don’t particularly like it."

Incredulous, Musk asked again, "You said you’ve seen more hateful content but you can’t name a single example, not even one?" The reporter used his excuse again, saying, "I’m not sure I’ve used that feed for the last three or four weeks…" Musk interrupted him, asking, "Well then how did you see the hateful content?"

Clayton said, "Because I’ve been using Twitter since you’ve taken it over for the last six months." Musk insisted that he must have an example or two then. "Okay, so then you must have at some point seen the ‘For You’ hateful content and I’m asking for one example. You can’t give a single one."

Clayton continued to struggle to offer a defense.

At that point Musk declared, "Then I say sir, that you don’t know what you’re talking about." The reporter asked "Really?" to which Musk replied, "Yes, because you can’t give me a single example of hateful content, not even one tweet, and yet you claimed that the hateful content was high. That’s false."

The BBC journalist protested, however Musk pointed at him and stated, "You just lied." The reporter then tried to change his initial claims, saying, "No, what I claimed was there are many organizations that say that kind of information is on the rise. Now whether it is on my feed or not …"

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Again, the billionaire demanded another example but the reporter punted to other outlets that have described the rise in hate speech. Musk then summed up the whole exchange, saying, "You literally said you experienced more hateful content and then couldn’t name a single example. That’s absurd!"

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