Elon Musk just bought Twitter for $44 billion. Its users have mixed feelings
Billionaire Elon Musk, the planet's richest human being, struck an agreement to buy social media giant Twitter for $44 billion on Monday afternoon. As a consequence, Twitter will no longer be a publicly-traded company.
"Twitter agreed to sell itself to Mr. Musk for $54.20 a share, a 38 percent premium over the company’s share price this month before he revealed he was the firm’s single largest shareholder. It would be the largest deal to take a company private — something Mr. Musk has said he will do with Twitter — in at least two decades, according to data compiled by Dealogic," the New York Times reported.
"Hey guys, Twitter is ours!" Musk wrote after closing the deal.
Musk said in a statement that he intends to transform Twitter into a haven for unrestricted free speech for everyone.
"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," said Musk. "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 spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."
Musk also tweeted earlier in the day that he hopes that "even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means."
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk) 1650903150
Users on the platform are split over whether Musk's takeover will make Twitter better or worse.
Now that Elon Musk is buying Twitter, the question for all of us is: Will he allow a Criminal who used this platform to lie and spread disinformation to try to overthrow the US Government to return and continue his Criminal activity? And if he does, how do we combat it?— Rob Reiner (@Rob Reiner) 1650896128
Twitter is the most important political social media forum. It doesn\u2019t matter how unbearable it might become under Elon Musk, we have to keep fighting. \n\nI\u2019ll be staying. I hope the rest of you do the same.— Pam Resists\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Pam Resists\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1650906356
There are two main arguments. The first is that unrestricted free speech is a fundamental right that should extend to digital environments like Twitter.
Today is an encouraging day for freedom of speech. I am hopeful that Elon Musk will help rein in Big Tech\u2019s history of censoring users that have a different viewpoint.— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@Sen. Marsha Blackburn) 1650913151
Elon Musk should buy Disney after he's done with Twitter.— Brigitte Gabriel (@Brigitte Gabriel) 1650748493
Kinda hoping Elon Musk does destroy Twitter so I can have my life back.— Eliot Higgins (@Eliot Higgins) 1650890632
The second is that unrestricted free speech will lead to a frenzy of propaganda, conspiracy theories, and hate speech.
I still think Elon Musk owning Twitter is a bad idea. He will amplify racists, bigots, and misinformation. He is a bad-faith actor with his distorted views of free speech and censorship.— David Weissman (@David Weissman) 1650883522
Get ready for an unprecedented flood of antivax content on this platform.— Mark D. Levine (@Mark D. Levine) 1650894924
Honestly, being known by lots of people isn\u2019t that important to me. So I don\u2019t see much of a future here on Twitter with Elon Musk. I do hope you\u2019ll check out the limited-run podcast I do for POGO \u2014 The Continuous Action \u2014 and the newsletter we put out:https://secure.everyaction.com/12rmHB32-Eyz8IRfVgxZTw2\u00a0\u2026— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub) 1650914119
Musk's twitter bid is the perfect encapsulation of the right's disingenuous arguments about free speech. Parler & Gab were supposedly free of the #WokeMob but failed. Why? MAGA doesn't care about speech they want access to different kinds of people they can harass— Dr. Jason Johnson (@Dr. Jason Johnson) 1650582338
It is done. Elon Musk buys twitter for $44 Billion.\n\nI know that LGBTQ+ people and trans people specifically fear this particular change. We're going to see increases in an already volatile situation with "groomer" rhetoric turned up to 11.\n\nIt's a sad day for our community.https://twitter.com/business/status/1518669079745384453\u00a0\u2026— Erin Reed (@Erin Reed) 1650914237
It\u2019s called platform monopoly. It\u2019s bad for our democracy as well as our economy.— Robert Reich (@Robert Reich) 1650912511
So, Elon Musk can buy twitter for $44 Billion but he doesn't want Tesla to unionize, and he doesn't want to pay any taxes. Welcome to Trump World.— paul nelson, #author,#autism dad & #advocate (@paul nelson, #author,#autism dad & #advocate) 1650914057
If Twitter really is the public square, like Musk claims, than it should be run by the public and not a private entity— UsuallyAnnoyed (@UsuallyAnnoyed) 1650910688
In fact, some believe that Musk's gigantic purchase is purely a means of boosting his own power.
Elon Musk\u2019s real goal has nothing to do with the freedom of others. His goal is his own unconstrained freedom \u2013 the freedom to wield enormous power without having to be accountable to laws and regulations, to shareholders, or to market competition.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/apr/24/elon-musk-twitter-billionaire-robert-reich\u00a0\u2026— Robert Reich (@Robert Reich) 1650818395
Notably, former President Donald Trump, Twitter's most famous de-platformed user, announced that he will not return. His social media venture, Truth Social, has been a total flop.
https://www.politicsvideochannel.com/trump-says-he-wont-return-to-twitter-if-elon-musk-buys-the-platform-and-reinstates-his-account/\u00a0\u2026— PoliticsVideoChannel (@PoliticsVideoChannel) 1650906192
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