Elon Musk shouldn't be able to 'determine the course of a war,' says Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof

Composite image of Bob Geldof and Elon Musk.
Bob Geldof said Elon Musk was "socially uncomfortable."Getty Images
  • Elon Musk shouldn't hold the power to "determine the course of a war," Bob Geldof told CNBC.

  • The activist who organized Live Aid said Musk was a "great inventor" but "socially uncomfortable."

  • Geldof also said Musk and Mark Zuckerberg were responsible for bullying on their platforms.

Bob Geldof, who organized the Live Aid charity concerts in the 1980s, said it was "just wrong" for Elon Musk to be able to "determine the course of a war."

The musician, activist, and author told CNBC that Musk was "one of the great inventors of our time, without question" — but he said he didn't think Musk should have the ability to hold sway over the fate of a war.

Musk's biographer Walter Isaacson said he blocked Ukraine from using Starlink for an attack on Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Musk's SpaceX has supplied Ukraine with thousands of its Starlink satellite internet terminals since the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022, but Isaacson wrote that the billionaire didn't want them being used for drone attacks.

"Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars," Musk told Isaacson in excerpt from the book. "It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes."

Geldof was asked whether he worried about the power held by the likes of Musk and Zuckerberg: "Yes, because if you look at them, they're pretty inadequate people."

The Boomtown Rats frontman said he didn't think Zuckerberg or Musk were "socially comfortable."

Geldof also told CNBC he wasn't opposed to technology but thought social-media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, were "not particularly" a good thing.

In his view, Musk and Zuckerberg are responsible for bullying and trolling on their platforms.

"Are these people responsible? Absolutely. Should they be made to structure it so this is stopped? Absolutely," Geldof said. "Can they get away with this crap that they are merely publishers? No, no, just stop. It can be addressed. I just don't understand the impediment to actually stop it."

Musk laid off hundreds of employees who worked in the trust-and-safety department shortly after he took over X, formerly known as Twitter, in October 2022.

There are about 20 full-time staff on the trust-and-safety team, Business Insider previously reported.

A newly unsealed complaint against Meta on behalf of 33 states suggests the social-media giant may have downplayed the amount of harmful content, hate speech, and discrimination on its platforms.

Representatives for Musk and Zuckerberg didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

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