Elon Musk admits causing "self-inflicted wounds" following defamation lawsuit

Elon Musk finally seems to have learnt a lesson about his tweeting habits on X after facing a defamation suit deposition on March 27 for his offensive post.

By Raunak Bose
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Elon Musk, CEO of X Corp.

Elon Musk, CEO of X Corp (Image via Reuters)

Elon Musk has once again successfully managed to get himself into hot waters, due to a defamation case filed against him last year. The 52-year-old billionaire often shares his unsolicited views on dodgy subjects on his newly acquired social media platform X, and that had become the centre of all controversy when he aggravated a conspiracy theory claiming a California man to be a federal agent, who had posed as a Neo Nazi on the street. 

Soon after Musk's tweet became viral, a 22-year-old Jewish man, named Ben Broody filed a defamation case against the billionaire. Musk appeared in a deposition related to the suit on March 27, and the details from the court hearing were made public recently, despite strong opposition from Musk's lawyer. During the deposition, Musk acknowledged that he had been "guilty of many self-inflicting wounds," referring to his tweets. 

Elon Musk defends his overtly aggressive tweeting habits following the defamation case

Elon Musk, who acquired the social media platform Twitter in October 2022, strongly advocates allowing users the right to free speech. Musk has overseen several guideline changes following the acquisition to achieve his goal of free speech on the platform, but that has led to accidental discrepancies such as his.

Ben Broody, Plaintiff (via CNN)
Ben Broody, Plaintiff (Image via CNN)

The plaintiff, Ben Broody sued Elon Musk in a Texas court, after the latter compared a picture of Broody on Instagram to a White supremacist. Musk tried to justify his tweet, by acknowledging that his tweets run the risk of being incorrect, however, he tried to balance that out with his goal of having a free-speech democracy. 

“There’s some risk that what I say is incorrect, but one has to balance that against having a chilling effect on free speech in general, which would undermine the entire foundation of our democracy. My goal is simply to have the X platform be the best source of truth on the internet,” Musk told Brody's lawyer, Mark Bankston, according to a 115-page transcript. "And when you try to figure out the truth of things, you — there’s a debate. That debate, you know, goes one way or the other, but it is a vigorous debate.”

Musk also claimed that he never had any grudge against Broody and did not know about the University of California, political science major student. Musk reiterated that his tweets have often come back to haunt him and that he needs to "buy some Kevlar boots," to avoid such mistakes in future. Although Musk made bold comments about mending his ways on X, it will be interesting to see whether he follows those principles. 

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