Elon Musk Blasts Claim He Has 'No Idea' How to Run Twitter

Elon Musk has hit back at a former Twitter staffer who said that the billionaire businessman has "no idea" what he's "talking about" regarding the adverts on the social-media platform.

The Tesla CEO, 51, completed his purchase of Twitter in late October. It has seen reactions largely divided along political lines, with conservatives lauding his vow to prioritize free speech on the platform. This, though, has come with conditions.

Musk continues to make changes to Twitter—including the controversial $8-per-month charge for Blue Verified subscribers to gain and maintain the platform's verified badges.

Elon Musk Pictured at Twitter HQ
Elon Musk on October 26, 2022 shows himself carrying a sink as he enters the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Musk changed his Twitter profile to "Chief Twit" and posted video of himself walking into the social network's California headquarters carrying a sink, days before his contentious takeover of the company must be finalized. Musk recently hit back a former Twitter employee who accused him of not knowing what he was talking about with regards to advertisements on the platform. Getty

"Sorry for showing you so many irrelevant & annoying ads on Twitter!" Musk tweeted on Friday. "We're taking the (obvious) corrective action of tying ads to keywords & topics in tweets, like Google does with search."

"This will improve contextual relevance dramatically," he added.

The tweet prompted an unfavorable reaction from former Twitter staffer Bruce Falck, who responded in a tweet: "As the former lead for Ads at Twitter, I can confidently say this man has no idea wtf he's talking about."

Musk hit back: "My apologies, you must be a genius, which is why Twitter has the worst ad relevance on Earth. Almost nobody buys anything on Twitter, but almost everyone on Instagram does. That is being fixed."

Falck—who writes on his LinkedIn page that he served as General Manager, Revenue Product at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters from 2017 until May 2022—responded with an emoji of a face blowing a kiss.

One Twitter user wrote on the platform that they had "never seen *Any* relevant ad on Twitter since I made my account."

"You are not alone," replied Musk. "When I ask people if they use Twitter, almost all have for many years. When I ask if they've ever bought something from an ad after using the site for a decade, the answer is almost always no. That's insane!

"The biggest problem is that Twitter optimized for impressions over clicks, with the perverse result that it *maximized* ad irrelevance, because clicking on an ad takes you away from Twitter, thus reducing impressions generated per user-minute."

Musk added that the team at Twitter had "started improving relevance in December," but there was "still a very long way to go."

South African-born Musk has courted controversy since buying Twitter for $44 billion on October 27, 2022.

He said that Twitter would be a beacon of free speech. He reinstated the accounts of divisive figures, including disgraced former national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, Michael Flynn.

Racist and Adolf Hitler apologist Nick Fuentes was also reinstated on Twitter before he was swiftly removed from the platform once again.

Musk also came under fire when he amplified an unsubstantiated narrative that Paul Pelosi was not in fact the subject of a random assault at his San Francisco home on October 28. The conspiracy theory shared by many right-wing accounts was that the former speaker's husband had a prior relationship with the suspect.

However, many conservatives have praised Musk for what they view as the platform being removed from the control of liberals.