After months of negotiations, lawsuits and mudslinging, Elon Musk has now officially purchased Twitter.
On Thursday, Mr. Musk officially closed his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. It’s not totally clear who is still in charge of the social media service, but it sounds like there are some changes being made. As of Thursday evening, at least four top executives had been fired including the CEO and CFO. Obviously, Mr. Musk has had very little time since he started his takeover on Wednesday to get any work done– maybe as a result of the whirlwind tour of engineering and advertising meetings happening on Thursday night.
Following months of drama and legal challenges, Elon Musk officially closed the deal this week to buy Twitter. As a self-described “free speech absolutist,” Musk has said he wants to make the social media platform a more open place for all types of discussion and commentary. And as a supporter of President Trump, he’s tweeted his intention to reverse the permanent ban on Trump.
Elon Musk’s approach to starting conversations and asking questions on Twitter could worsen issues of toxic content and misinformation. People in foreign countries are especially susceptible to its effects, with Brazil’s presidential election taking place next week and the U.S.’s midterm election coming up on November 8. In response to this issue, Twitter said it would stop misleading information about voting and the election results from being shared online; however, this is before Musk became the owner of Twitter.
“I am deeply concerned that as a result of his ownership of Twitter, there could be real-world consequences to Mr. Musk’s leadership,” David Kaye said, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine who has worked with the United Nations on issues surrounding free speech. “To the extent that world leaders see they have this space and it is unmoderated, they might push to see how far they can go.”
Twitter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited their San Francisco offices last Wednesday to speak with employees. He is expected to address the company on Friday, February 8.
A visitor from New York Times, Jason Henry, told the public that Tesla’s CEO, Mr. Musk visited Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday. He is expected to speak with employees on Friday.
The acquisition has been celebrated by some Republicans, who have argued that Twitter has censored conservative viewpoints. Researchers have said that Twitter’s rules are essential for countering online hate speech and disinformation. Some advertisers are worried about allowing their brands to appear next to controversial tweets.
“It’s a ‘back-to-the-past’ turn away from what we saw in 2010, but one that ignores the reality over the last decade.” Colin Crowell, Twitter’s former head of global public policy and current VP of US Public Policy at Twitter, has offered this opinion on the writing style guidelines. “People eventually realize that the Wild West needs a sheriff for sustaining order. This includes ensuring safety for citizens but also for providing opportunities for merchants.”
Mr. Musk and Twitter have promised sweeping changes, such as new leadership and job cuts. This is to move swiftly in the pursuit of new advertising-based business ventures, as well as to boost user numbers. Twitter has also been having difficulties with advertising revenue, attracting new customers, and keeping top company executives on board.
By taking Twitter private, Elon Musk will be able to remake the service without the public being able to watch closely. Additionally, he does not need to answer to shareholders on Wall Street who are only interested in Twitter’s performance every few months. This means that he can change it as he wishes and all without having his plans publicly scrutinized.
Elon Musk, who runs the electric carmaker Tesla and the rocket company SpaceX, did not respond to a request for comment.
Twitter agreed to sell to Elon Musk for $54.20. This may have seemed like a low price at the time, but as Twitter’s stock has fallen, $54.20 now appears to be a victory for shareholders. The company’s board is working hard to make sure the deal goes through.
A Twitter spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
Sources have told us that two Twitter executives were escorted from the office on Thursday: Parag Agrawal and Sean Edgett. The other two, the finance chief Ned Segal and the top legal and policy executive Vijaya Gadde, were fired. All four are being replaced in the company’s latest overhaul since Jack Dorsey returned to the CEO role 16 months ago.
Founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, SpaceX and The Boring Company, Elon Musk has taken to Twitter in recent years. He now owns a significant amount of shares in the company that he tweeted about back in April. He plans on lifting content restrictions, eliminating spam, adding notable features, and understanding the algorithms behind how content is promoted.
“Twitter has tremendous potential” he said in a statement in April. “I look forward to working with the company and its community of users”
However, in a matter of weeks, he began questioning the deal. Musk lashed out at Twitter’s higher-ups and accused them of failing to adequately count their accounts. When Parag Agrawal, the company’s CEO, tried to refute Musk’s comments, he wrote across Twitter “poop.”
Elon Musk was misled about how much spam there is on Twitter. He therefore announced that he would abandon acquiring it.