Billionaire aims to turn Big Tech giant into a genuine free-speech platform
WND News Center
Declaring his hope that “his worst critics” will remain on Twitter, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has purchased the social media giant for about $44 billion, turning it into a privately held company.
Musk, the world’s richest person, according to Forbes, has made it clear that his chief aim is not to make money on the deal but to make Twitter a genuine platform for free speech.
“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,” Musk said in a statement upon closing the deal. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever.”
The Big Tech giant – which notoriously censored the New York Post’s blockbuster stories on Biden family influence peddling in China, Russia and other nations – has banned the likes of former President Trump and other notable figures whose tweets violated the establishment narrative on issues such as the 2020 election and COVID-19.
Hours before the deal was announced, Musk tweeted: “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
Meanwhile, left-leaning journalist Aaron Rupar expressed the fears of many Twitter users – including former President Obama – who believe robust exchanges of competing ideas should be shut down in order to protect people from “misinformation.”
Rupar wrote that his “thoughts go out to people i know who are working for Twitter because, yikes.”
Twitter employees, according to the Washington Post, have “expressed concern that their workplaces might suffer under the leadership of the incendiary tech mogul, as well as exhaustion over the company’s uncertain future.”
Amid news of the takeover last Thursday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal held a companywide meeting “to reassure his workforce of 7,500 full-time employees by arguing that one man could not change a culture and that it was up to the company to set strategy,” the Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Joe Concha, a political columnist for The Hill, wrote on Twitter that airports “should be packed today with all of those people threatening to leave the country if Elon Musk acquires Twitter.”
The two Times sources said the discussions followed a Twitter board meeting on Sunday morning to respond to Musk’s unsolicited offer.
The company’s board members began to seriously consider the offer of $54.20 a share when they were assured of commitments for the financing. That figure is a 38% premium over Twitter’s share price this month before Musk announced April 4 his purchase of a 9.2% stake, making him the company’s single largest shareholder.
Twitter’s stock climbed 4% on Monday to about $51.23 a share.
The 50-year-old founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has been critical of Twitter management.
In his offer letter last week, he said the company “will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.”
Prior to Musk’s purchase of a 9.2% stake, the company’s shares had fallen about 10% under Agrawal.
Aarawal succeeded founder Jack Dorsey in late November.