Elon Musk is the new owner of social network company Twitter

Tweet by Elon Musk

I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.

However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.

As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.

Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Why is Elon Musk interested in Twitter?

Ostensibly because the service, he says, isn’t living up to its potential as a “platform for free speech.” Musk insists that he’s not interested in making money off Twitter and on Thursday said his motivation sprang from the realization that “having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.”

Twitter, like other social media platforms, suspends accounts for violating content standards, including on violence, hate speech or harmful misinformation. Its suspension of Donald Trump angered the former president’s followers.

Musk has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” — but he has blocked Twitter users who question or disagree with him. Regulators have also accused his car company, Tesla, of retaliating against Black workers who spoke up about discrimination.

How might Elon Musk remake Twitter?

It’s hard to know with Musk, and even trying to game out this hypothetical might be taking the man too seriously. By saying Twitter is not living up to its potential to be a “platform for free speech,” he seems to be saying he would scale back content moderation. But he has also called for the company to crack down on spam accounts, which implies more moderation.

He proposed dropping ads from the service — ads are how Twitter makes money — and making its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter. He also seems to approve of a button to edit tweets.

  • Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, or about $43 billion.
  • “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter sent to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor.

Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share in a filing published Thursday, saying the social media company needs to be transformed privately, a little over a week after revealing a 9.1% stake in company. Musk’s offer values Twitter at about $43 billion.

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter sent to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor and disclosed in a securities filing

Twitter shares closed down 1.68% on Thursday. Tesla’s stock dipped more than 3.6% on the news.

According to Musk, the social media company needs to go private because it can “neither thrive nor serve” free speech in its current state.

“As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced,” he wrote. “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

Musk tapped Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor, according to the filing.

He claimed later on Thursday during a talk at TED2022 that he isn’t interested in acquiring Twitter to make money off it and even said he’s not sure if he’ll even be able to buy the company.

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