Bill Gates has said an Elon Musk-owned Twitter ‘could be worse’, but doesn’t blame the billionaire for mocking him.
He has also said that meeting the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was a mistake.
In an interview with the Today programme, the Microsoft co-founder also said he maintains ‘a sense of humour’ about the conspiracy theories that have led to people shouting at him on the street.
Mr Gates, whose massive donations to COVID-19 research have made him a target of bizarre claims, said: ‘In some ways, you almost have to laugh because it’s so crazy.
‘I mean, do I really want to track people? I spend billions on vaccines, I don’t make money on vaccines; vaccines save lives, they don’t cause deaths.
‘So I’ve been out in public and some people yell at me that I’m tracking them, and that’s an awful thing.’
Gates on Musk’s Twitter
Asked about whether such unfounded theories could flourish on Twitter after Mr Musk’s planned purchase of the social media platform, Mr Gates said: ‘I guess it’s possible Twitter could be worse, but it also could be better.’
The tech pioneer said there is no need for his fellow billionaire, who has tweeted insults about him, ‘to be nice to me’.
Mr Gates has been succeeded by Mr Musk as the world’s richest person.
In response to Mr Musk’s claims that he has bet against Tesla stock, Mr Gates said it had ‘nothing to do with climate change’.
‘The popularity of electric cars will lead to more competition for selling those cars, so there’s a difference between electric cars being adopted, and companies becoming infinitely valuable,’ he said.
Mr Gates also said his divorce from Melinda French Gates would not affect the running of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest charitable foundation.
The pair announced they were ending their 27-year marriage last year.