Elon Musk bought Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) for $44 billion cash on Monday, transferring control of the social media platform to the world’s richest man.
Now it’s official. Twitter was officially bought by Elon Musk for $44 billion or $54.20 a share. Here’s the press release.
- As part of a historic business deal, Elon Musk is offering $44 billion for Twitter.
- It is true that Elon Musk loved Twitter since it was a platform for a global discussion on crucial issues, from politics to domestic affairs.
- To restore Twitter’s reputation, Elon Musk would need Twitter’s unrelenting support.
- Elon Musk was invited to join Twitter’s board after this deal.
- As one might have expected, Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter would bring many changes.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk buying Twitter for $44 billion
According to reports, Twitter has agreed to sell itself to Elon Musk for about $44 billion. Adding to his business empire could be a lucrative deal for the billionaire. The world’s richest man could be at the helm of the most powerful network on the planet.
In an internal memo to employees obtained by CNN, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said he would hold a meeting with Taylor and the entire staff on Monday afternoon to answer questions about the deal.
Others asked whether Musk could reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account, which was deleted early last year for violating Twitter’s policy on inciting violence after the Capitol riots.
Twitter strikes a deal with Tesla boss
According to Musk, he has secured $46.5 billion (€43.4 billion) in financing to acquire Twitter. This puts considerable pressure on the company’s board to conclude a deal.
The world’s richest person, Tesla’s CEO, wants to buy Twitter because he thinks it doesn’t live up to its potential as a platform for “free speech”.
After the sale, Twitter will become a privately held company.
But what exactly does Musk intend to do with Twitter?
Based on his statement in Monday’s press release announcing the acquisition, we can get a pretty good idea of his priorities:
Musk, a longtime Twitter user with more than 80 million followers, has detailed his opinion of the service for years. Here’s what we expect to see in changes to Twitter based on Musk’s previous tweets, should the deal be approved by regulators.
1. Moderation on Twitter
Musk has repeatedly referred to Twitter as the “village square” of the modern era – the digital equivalent of a public forum.
In that context, he has criticized Twitter’s decision to permanently ban former U.S. President Donald Trump from the site following the riot at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
“A lot of people are going to be very unhappy with the West Coast Techelite as the de facto arbiter of free speech,” Musk tweeted in response to Christian conservative satirical publication The Babylon Bee after it published a satirical news article titled “Evil fascist dictator censored and voted out” on Jan. 11, 2021.
Musk could thus reinstate Trump’s Twitter account. However, the ex-president, in a reaction to Musk’s Twitter takeover, has stated that he does not want to return to Twitter. Based on Musk’s tweets and his explanation of the Twitter purchase, however, it is likely that the billionaire will at least push for looser moderation on Twitter.
In recent weeks, Musk has demonstrated this attitude at least once. At his satellite Internet startup Starlink, he rejected calls from “some governments (not Ukraine)” to block news broadcasts from Russia. “We will not do that unless by force of arms,” he said. “I’m sorry I’m a free speech absolutist.”
2. Algorithm changes
Another point Musk has raised in the past concerns Twitter’s role in shaping society.
In March of this year, he asked his followers if they thought Twitter’s algorithm should be “open source” – a term for software that is freely distributed and can be openly manipulated by many different contributors.
It may sound technical, but the idea is related to Musk’s views on freedom of expression. “I’m concerned that the factual bias of the Twitter algorithm is having a huge impact on public discourse,” Musk told one of his followers. “How do we know what’s really happening?”
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3. Remove spam bots
Some of Musk’s expected suggestions relate more to his personal use of Twitter. For example, he has already stated that he wants to get rid of “crypto-spam bots” – spam accounts that promote what appear to be crypto-based scams and often use Musk’s Twitter likeness.
Musk called the spam problem on Twitter the “single most annoying problem” with using the service. He even publicly called on Twitter to do something about the problem. “How long is this going to go on?” he asked in February.
In an interview at a TED conference on April 14 of this year, Musk cited the problem as the first thing he would change as Twitter’s new owner. “One of my top priorities would be to eliminate the spam and scam bots and bot armies that exist on Twitter,” he said. “They make the product much worse.”
4. An edit button
Musk is in favor of an edit feature that Twitter users have been calling for for years. He supports the long-held hope that Twitter will one day build an edit function into its service so users can at least correct simple spelling errors or incorrect links immediately after posting. In a poll he conducted in March, participants among his more than 80 million followers overwhelmingly favored such a feature.
Twitter recently said it has been working on an edit function for some time.