Elon Musk acquired Twitter for an estimated $44 billion this week. Whether you like or loathe him, Elon Musk – a.k.a the world’s richest man – is so busy pushing the frontiers of technology that he probably doesn’t care. Musk has so many accomplishments under his belt that he was even named Time’s 2021 Person of the Year. Somehow, despite his successes, controversy tends to surround the tech mogul; and even the most loyal of his followers are questioning his new Twitter takeover.
During the last two decades, Elon Musk has earned an enviable reputation as a major front runner in both the tech and research industries. He’s exploring space via SpaceX. Tesla is accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy with electric cars and renewable energy solutions. His investment in cryptocurrencies is changing the way that people think about money. Neuralink (Musk’s neurotechnology company) develops implantable brain–machine interfaces. And his infrastructure and tunnel construction group, The Boring Company, has made him huge sums since he made his initial fortune with PayPal.
In Support of Free Speech
Now, Elon Musk believes he can “transform” Twitter by supporting greater free speech and allowing users more choice over what they see. By making the firm private, Musk plans to do his work without the prying eyes of investors, regulators and others.
In a statement, Twitter chairman Bret Taylor explains that the Twitter board,
“conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”
Vital to the Future of Humanity
As predicted, the acquisition is coming under heavy scrutiny. Twitter has more than 217 million daily users, all of whom play a significant role in influencing global narratives. Political leaders exploit the platform as a sort of soapbox.
And corporations and celebrities use it for image-making and brand-building purposes. Musk, with a total of more than 83 million followers says via Twitter,
“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.” Said Mr. Musk. “I also want to make Twitter better then ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
??♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️?? pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
A Place for Controversial Conversations
Twitter has the tendency to become a flashpoint for debate. President Trump, for example, was banned from the site in 2017 after the Capitol riot on Jan 6. The corporation has had to build innumerable regulations since then to cope with unanticipated events like those.
And after years of Musk’s antics, even his most devoted fans are wary. Some of his high jinks include his claim in 2020 that people worried about the coronavirus were “dumb”. He also said that by March 19, 2020 the U.S. would have “close to zero new cases” of coronavirus by the end of April. He’s compared Justin Trudeau to Hitler. Did he also use Twitter to engage in securities fraud? In 2020, he even Tweeted that “Pronouns suck”.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2020
Eye for the Future
So why are we still so enchanted by a man who behaves like he doesn’t care about anything but money? Well, Musk’s status as a visionary surely adds to his appeal. With a sharp eye for the future, he repeatedly assembles management, production, and marketing framework in an instant.
He has a very well-documented record of success. Therefore, it’s easy to see how the public (and even the experts) have come to disregard some of his more strange and erratic behaviour.
Twitter staff, however, are reportedly unimpressed with Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media network. Why? Well, as Bess Levon of Vanity Fair says,
“He’s a huge jerk! Who regularly uses his massive platform and other sources of power to do bad things!”
“I Know This Affects All Of You Personally”
The New York Times reports that Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, met with workers on Monday to discuss the company’s sale to Elon Musk. Mr. Agrawal was joined for the staff question-and-answer session by Twitter’s board chair, Bret Taylor.
“It’s important to acknowledge that all of you have many different feelings about what is happening,”
two of the meeting’s attendees quote Mr. Agrawal as saying. Employees went on to quiz Mr. Agrawal and Mr. Taylor for over an hour about the purchase. They asked whether it would affect their pay and employment, and how Mr. Musk plans to transform Twitter.
“Some of you are concerned, some of you are excited, and some of you are waiting to see how this goes. I know this affects all of you personally.”
Twitter have declined to comment thus far regarding the meeting.
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