- Elon Musk praised Russian state media in texts with a confidante, court documents show.
- The Tesla billionaire said he found the outlets “entertaining” and said they had “some good points.”
- He made the remarks following the EU's order banning access to the outlets.
Tesla billionaire Elon Musk praised Russian state media outlets in texts to a confidante, describing them as having “some good points,” court documents released Thursday showed.
The texts, first reported by The Hill, were included in court documents released Thursday amid Musk's legal battle with Twitter. The social media giant is locked in a dispute with Musk over his decision to back out of his $44 billion deal to buy the platform.
“EU passed a law banning Russia Today and several other Russian news sources. We have been told to block their IP address,” Musk wrote to Antonio Gracias, a private equity investor and former Tesla executive, on March 5, the documents show.
“Actually, I find their news quite entertaining,” Musk continued, according to the filing. In a follow-up text, the world's richest man described Russian media as having a “lot of bullshit, but some good points too.”
“Free speech matters most when it's someone you hate spouting what you think is bullshit,” Musk commented after Gracias agreed with his stance on free speech.
Musk was commenting on the order by the EU on March 3 banning Russian state media outlets, including RT and Sputnik, in the wake of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The outlets have long pushed pro-Kremlin propaganda and disinformation about the Ukraine conflict, which meant that companies in the EU were banned from disseminating their content.
Tech giants, including Meta, Facebook's parent company, and Google, had already acted to restrict access to Russian state media outlets, and Twitter complied with the ban after it was issued.
Musk, at the time, had announced plans to buy Twitter and generated controversy by criticizing policies on the platform designed to slow the spread of disinformation and hate speech, styling himself as a defender of free speech.
In Ukraine, Musk has been lauded for providing access to Starlink, his satellite broadband system, allowing swaths of the country to maintain an internet connection despite power outages and Russia targetting the country's internet infrastructure.
In March, Musk said he wouldn't agree to requests by governments for Starlink to block access to Russian media “unless at gunpoint.”