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Elon Musk bought 9.2% of Twitter, one of the most active social networks in the world along with Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. The Tesla CEO’s acquisition is valued at almost $3 billion and makes Musk the majority shareholder of the network, ahead of financial groups Morgan Stanley and Vanguard, which hold 8.79% and 8.76%, respectively.
After Musk’s purchase, Twitter’s stocks rose 26%. So far, the entrepreneur has not referred to the negotiation or what role he will have in the company.
Musk has been one of the most controversial users of Twitter and his account has been characterized by strong questioning of the Biden administration, absolute defense of free speech, and tweets with the ability to turn the crypto market upside down.
In a poll taken on March 25, the Tesla CEO asserted that free speech is essential to a well-functioning democracy, and then asked his followers if “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adhere to this principle?” He then proceeded to warn that, “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
Following a resounding victory for No, Tesla’s CEO apparently made the decision to buy a majority stake in Twitter. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s report indicates that the purchase request was made on March 14.
Will he stop Twitter’s censorship?
The algorithm that restricts “hate speech” on Twitter has been criticized by several analysts and journalists for having a progressive bias and censoring mainly conservative figures for their opinion. However, the social network has denied such bias and, in fact, claims that its algorithm amplifies the dissemination of right-wing media content.
Perhaps the most heated point of the discussion came after the social network’s decision to permanently suspend former President Trump’s account following the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill.
The censorship of the former president on Twitter and Facebook caused the migration of thousands of conservative users to other social networks.
With Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, some conservative figures have publicly asked the Tesla CEO to re-instate former President Trump’s account on the social network. Among those voices is Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co).
Potential implications to Twitter’s policies
Musk’s acquisition of Twitter may mean a change in plans for the company’s course for its new CEO, Parag Agrawal, who replaced outgoing Jack Dorsey in November. Following Agrawal’s appointment, Musk Tweeted, “USA benefits greatly from Indian talent!”
On December 1, Musk posted a grim meme where Agrawal is painted as the former Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, and Dorsey as the head of the Soviet secret police, Nikolai Yezhov, being thrown into the water. Yezhov was shot in 1940, accused of being a political enemy of Stalinism, after his execution he would be removed from a public photo where he is seen walking beside the Soviet dictator.
With Agrawal, the company has taken on the ambitious goal of increasing its annual revenue to $7.5 billion and obtaining a volume of at least 315 million daily users by the end of 2023.
According to the financial media Bloomberg, Twitter is particularly vulnerable to external pressure, because unlike other technology companies such as Google, Meta or Amazon, its owners have no special control over the future of the social network with their vote on the board.
With his joining Twitter, Musk will have to deal with Elliot Management, an investment fund and co-shareholder in the social network, the architect of Dorsey’s departure in November and which has pushed for new product development at the company. In recent months, Elliot Management has been the most influential owner on the future of the social network.
Economist, writer and liberal. With a focus on finance, the war on drugs, history, and geopolitics // Economista, escritor y liberal. Con enfoque en finanzas, guerra contra las drogas, historia y geopolítica