Elon Musk has claimed that Twitter is “roughly breaking even” following his chaotic takeover of the social media platform, which led to 6,500 people losing their jobs through mass layoffs.

During a surprise live-streamed interview with the BBC in San Francisco, Twitter’s CEO said the social media platform was “trending towards being cash-flow positive very soon, literally in a matter of months”.

The claim comes six months after the billionaire took over Twitter in a deal worth $44 billion.

Mr Musk’s takeover of the firm has been controversial, particularly after the billionaire took the decision to sack thousands of Twitter employees, including those responsible for preventing the spread of disinformation.

Twitter’s workforce has reduced from 8,000 to 1,500 since his takeover, Mr Musk confirmed on Tuesday.

He said he made the decision to introduce mass layoffs due to the “$3bn negative cash flow situation” when he joined the company, which he claimed had left Twitter with four months to live.

Asked whether he regretted buying the platform, Mr Musk admitted he had been in “really quite a stressful situation over the last several months” but said purchasing Twitter was the right thing to do.

During the interview, he also confirmed that legacy blue ticks would be removed from all Twitter accounts by next week.

Twitter has historically used blue ticks to signal to users that accounts claiming to be companies and notable individuals are genuine. Last month the social media firm announced it would be winding down its legacy verification programme and would move towards paid verification to try to generate much-needed revenue.

As part of the process, the company has begun removing blue ticks from accounts and Mr Musk confirmed to the BBC that this process will soon be completed.

Twitter’s CEO dismissed media firms such as the New York Times that have refused to pay for verification through the programme and as a result have lost their blue tick. He argued: “It’s a small amount of money, so I don’t know what their problem is. We’re going to treat everyone equally.”

Mr Musk claimed he did want the social media platform to boost “some anointed class of journalists” and that he was “hopeful” the new process “can be more a case of the public choosing the narrative, as opposed to the media choosing the narrative”.

During the interview, Mr Musk also addressed his recent disagreement with the BBC after the corporation rejected a new tag on its main Twitter account that labelled it as “government-funded media”.

“The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee,” the BBC said in response.

When asked about this by the BBC’s technology correspondent James Clayton, Mr Musk said he had the “utmost respect” for the corporation and confirmed the tag will be updated to describe the BBC as publicly funded.

“We want it as truthful and accurate as possible,” he said.

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