Elon Musk has finalized his US$44 billion purchase of Twitter, a person with knowledge of the transaction told CNN on Thursday, placing the wealthiest man in the world in command of one of the most important social media networks.
According to two persons with knowledge of the decision, Musk dismissed two additional executives, including the CEO Parag Agrawal. Twitter opted not to respond.
The deal’s completion lifts the uncertainty that has surrounded Twitter’s operations, staff, and stockholders for most of the year. Musk spent months trying to back out of the agreement after first agreeing to purchase the business in April, initially expressing worries about the number of bots on the platform and then charges made by a corporate whistleblower.
But Musk’s takeover and the subsequent sacking of several of the company’s senior executives have brought up a number of new issues about the platform’s future and the various facets of society it has affected. According to two individuals, Musk also let go of his policy director Vijaya Gadde and CFO Ned Segal on Thursday.
According to Musk, Twitter’s content filtering procedures would be reexamined in the interest of a more maximalist interpretation of “free expression.” A number of previously banned users may reappear on the site since the billionaire has said he disagrees with Twitter’s policy of permanent bans for individuals who regularly break its rules.
Most people will be keeping an eye on how quickly Musk would let former American President Donald Trump back on the platform, as he has already promised to do.
By taking those actions, Musk has the potential to completely alter the media and political landscape, transform online public discourse, and undermine the conservative social media space that was largely created in response to complaints about Twitter and other mainstream services being blocked and subjected to restrictions.
Musk, a well-known and contentious Twitter user, became engaged with the business earlier this year when he amassed a holding of more than 9% in its shares. Musk accepted and then declined an invitation to join the Twitter board of directors after making the announcement that he had become the company’s biggest shareholder.
Then Musk threatened a hostile takeover, offered to purchase Twitter outright at a big premium, and inked a “seller-friendly” arrangement to acquire the business that waived due diligence. Within a few weeks, Musk started expressing worries about the frequency of spam and fraudulent accounts on Twitter and eventually made a move to end the agreement.
However, Twitter sued him to carry out the purchase agreement, and as the bitter legal dispute headed toward trial, Musk said he would carry out the transaction in accordance with its original conditions after all.
Musk met with staff members at Twitter’s San Francisco offices earlier this week. Additionally, he sent an open letter to Twitter’s advertisers in which he expressed his concern that the social media site not turn into a “free-for-all hellscape where anything may be uttered with no repercussions.”
Source: CTV News, Reuters, Daily Mail