Musk officially buys Twitter. Here’s what tech founders think about his move
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has added another company to the list of companies that he owns. This time, it is a social engineering venture as the Board of Directors at Twitter formally accepted Musk's "best and final" offer of $54.20 a share on Monday.
One might guess that this brings us to an end of Elon Musk's Twitter saga that saw major flips in just over a fortnight. At first, Musk emerged to become Twitter's largest shareholder after buying stock almost every single trading day since January 31st. While Twitter wanted Musk to join the Board of Directors, the Tesla CEO rejected the offer publicly and then counter-offered to buy out the company and take it private. The Twitter board, which also includes the company's founder, Jack Dorsey, had its backs against the wall and finally gave in after prolonged discussions on Sunday.
The major buyout evoked mixed reactions on the internet, with Dorsey stating that Musk is the only person he could trust with the platform.
In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter. It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness.— jack⚡️ (@jack) April 26, 2022
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, whom Musk pipped to become the world's richest person last year, also took to Twitter to draw attention to Musk's connections and what they might mean for the social media platform.
Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square? https://t.co/jTiEnabP6T— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 25, 2022
While Bezos tried to repose some faith in Musk in subsequent tweets, the White House expressed its concern about the power of social media in spreading misinformation and how it needs to be held accountable without directly naming Musk, Reuters reported. Some users decided to tell this directly to Musk instead.
I hope you won't become a platform for spreading misinformation as that's not what free speech means.— Adi Gaskell (@AdiGaskell) April 25, 2022
Musk has been vocal about being a "free speech absolutist" on the platform and suggesting that Twitter tone down its moderation policies, to which some Twitter users reacted thus.
free speech is when the richest person on the planet buys the place where you talk. I am very smart— Bobby Wagner (@bwags) April 25, 2022
Political analysts believe this could mark the return of personalities like former President Donald Trump, who was banned by Twitter and is currently working on his own social media platform.
Suspended accounts coming back after Twitter takeover by Elon Musk pic.twitter.com/yCYN1l6DjF— MB ? (@MadridBaIIers) April 25, 2022
What does Musk want?
On his part, Musk wants Twitter to be the digital town square where matters vital to humanity's future are debated, something he reiterated in the press release following the acquisition.
Musk has also said that he will make the Twitter algorithm public and move it away from the ad-based model to a subscription-based service, to free it from the clutches of advertisers. One could see Twitter subscription prices drop soon and may even be payable in Dogecoin, NPR reported.
Will this take-away time from his other ventures, like Tesla and SpaceX? They likely will. But Musk knows well how to market his companies on Twitter and will maximize gains for them.
We will likely see Musk "unlock" Twitter's potential in a few days. All we need to do is wait.
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