Elon Musk says he felt TikTok ‘probing’ his mind; platform ‘rife’ with antisemitic content

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Speaking at the 2023 DealBook Summit in New York on Wednesday, Elon Musk said that he stopped using the popular and controversial social media app, TikTok, after he felt it was “probing” his mind with artificial intelligence.  

“I stopped using TikTok when I felt the AI probing my mind, and it made me uncomfortable, so I stopped using it,” Musk said, while being interviewed by Andrew Ross Sorkin.

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO said he observed that teenagers and people in their twenties are “almost religiously addicted to the short-form social media platform.

“I don’t use TikTok. I don’t personally use it. For teenagers and people in their twenties, they seem almost religiously addicted to TikTok,” Musk said. “Some people will watch TikTok for like 2 hours a day.”

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NYT Columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin and C.E.O. of Tesla, Chief Engineer of SpaceX and C.T.O. of X Elon Musk

Musk also said that TikTok is “rife” with antisemitic content.

“And in terms of antisemitic content, I mean, TikTok is rife with that, as it has most viral antisemitic content by far,” Musk said.

Musk

The billionaire CEO said that he does not believe that the Chinese government is using TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, to manipulate the minds of Americans.

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“No,” Musk replied when asked by Sorkin if China is using TikTok to manipulate American minds. “I don’t think this is some Chinese government plot.”

Elon Musk

Musk said that the TikTok algorithm is “entirely AI-powered” and addictive.

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“The TikTok algorithm is entirely air powered,” Musk said. “So it is really just trying to find the most viral thing possible. It’s [finding] what is going to keep you glued to the screen.”

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