Tesla’s CEO has been given control of the social network, which he has repeatedly criticized for his policy on freedom of speech.
With $ 44 billion, Elon Musk convinced Twitter shareholders and the board of directors to take over the management of the social network with more than 200 million users worldwide. With the acquisition, the ever-controversial and popular CEO of Tesla will become responsible for a company he has often criticized for failing to meet its potential as a platform for free speech.
Yesterday’s deal came after a dramatic and uncertain couple of weeks as the future of Twitter was shrouded in mystery. Recall that Elon Musk became the largest shareholder of the platform as early as April 4, but did not want to join the board. He then announced a takeover bid on April 14 and offered to repurchase all Twitter shares ($ 54.20 per share).
At first, it seemed that the Twitter committee would oppose it, as they had previously taken action against the takeover, known as the poison pill, which would make any takeover attempt financially unaffordable even for the richest Earthling. Their initial doubts and hesitations dissipated very quickly, especially when Musk approved a financing package for the entire deal – including $ 21 billion of his own money and debt financing from Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions.
“Free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is a digital urban marketplace that discusses issues that are crucial to the future of humanity,” Musk said in a statement posted, of course, on Twitter. “Twitter has tremendous potential – I’m looking forward to unlocking it completely with business and users.”
The takeover was unexpected and the schedule among employees on Twitter. At Monday’s joint meeting, following the announcement of the deal, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told employees that further development of the social network is uncertain.
“Once the deal is done, we don’t know which direction the platform will go,” Agrawal said. Musk will lead a meeting at the company in the coming weeks, where employees will be able to ask their questions and doubts.
Musk is also a big user of the app with more than 83 million followers. Already in 2017, he expressed interest in buying the network. He then announced the need to transform Twitter into a private company in order to build a bond of trust between users and make it easier to serve what he calls the “social imperative” of free speech.
“I hope that even my worst critics stay on Twitter, as this is the importance of freedom of speech,” he tweeted on Monday.
How Musk will transform the company is currently unknown. The billionaire has proposed a number of changes in recent weeks, such as releasing content restrictions, freeing up the platform of bogus and automated bots, and moving away from an advertising-based revenue model.
Rebecca Allensworth, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, described the deal as “worrying” because of the amount of power Musk now has. Her concerns are shared by others, including Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“It is worrying a private company that has as much power as Twitter and has as much influence over public speech, especially if Twitter will be controlled by someone with as idiosyncratic views on speech as Musk,” Allensworth wrote.
There have already been speculations as to whether Musk will re-establish high-profile accounts that have been removed over the years for violating community guidelines, including former President Donald Trump. Trump was banned from accessing Twitter in 2021 for allegedly violating social network policies by fomenting unrest in the U.S. capital.
Source: Računalništvo, telefonija – Računalniške novice by racunalniske-novice.com.
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