Mr. Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, is set to own one of the biggest social media platforms, Twitter.
On Monday, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, had an agreement with Twitter Incorporated for $44 billion cash or $54.20 per share to transfer the 16-year-old company with millions of users and global leaders under his control.
Twitter Inc. confirmed as they officially announced that the social media platform will become a privately held company in a press release.
“The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”Twitter Independent Board Chair Bret Taylor
Musk tweeted some of his statements in acquiring the giant social media platform. According to him, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spambots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it,” Mr. Musk added.
Billionaire Musk, who has over 87 million followers on Twitter, has previously been associated with various controversies within the social media platform.
In 2018, the US financial regulators accused Musk of misleading Tesla investors with his tweets, claims that were resolved in a $40 million settlement and that he continues to deny.
In 2019, Musk called the diver involved in rescuing schoolboys in Thailand “pedo guy” in a tweet, and he later had a defamation case he successfully won. Musk told the court that the phrase “pedo guy” was common in South Africa, where he grew up.
Musk, known to clash with journalists and block critics, suggested that he saw Twitter as a forum for debate.
Musk, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, has criticized Twitter’s moderation. He wants the social media’s algorithm for prioritizing tweets to be public and objects to giving too much power on the service to corporations that advertise.
Musk is also seeking user-friendly tweaks to the service, such as an edit button and defeating “spambots” that send overwhelming amounts of unwanted tweets.
In a previous statement, Musk also insisted that this was not a move to make money but to have “a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.”
Musk further stated, “By “free speech”, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask the government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people,” he said in a tweet posted on April 27.
Meanwhile, according to some political activists, a Musk regime will convey less moderation, and banned individuals, including former President Donald Trump, are expected to be back on the platform. Many Twitter users have rejoiced at the prospect of fewer controls, while some human rights activists voiced fears of a rise in hate speech.
“This is indeed a period of uncertainty. All of you have different feelings and views about this news. Many of you are concerned, some of you are excited, many people here are waiting to understand how this goes and have an open mind… If we work with each other, we will not have to worry about losing the core of what makes Twitter powerful, which is all of us working together in the interest of our customers every day,” said by soon to be former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal.