Elon Musk Wanted to Buy Twitter 5 Years Ago? Now He Owns it
Elon Musk has finally purchased a 100% stake in the microblogging site Twitter. This comes just days after Tesla’s CEO, who is also the world’s richest person, offered to buy the entire company for $44 billion, or $54.20 per share.
But this isn’t the first time Musk has expressed interest in acquiring Twitter. Soon after Musk’s acquisition became official, an old tweet in which he expressed interest in purchasing Twitter went viral on the microblogging website.
Musk appears to have had Twitter on his mind for quite some time. Musk casually tweeted “I love Twitter” on December 21, 2017. A Twitter user — Dave Smith, who is host and producer of The Refresh from Insider, then suggested that Musk simply purchase the entire company, to which Musk responded, “How much is it?”
At the time of writing, the original tweet had over 1.74 million likes and over 35,000 retweets and quote tweets.
Musk brought up the possibility of buying Twitter again nearly five years later. Musk asked his Twitter followers a few weeks ago, in March, if he should start a new social media company. His followers questioned why he would start something new when he could simply buy Twitter. After all, Musk, as the world’s richest person, appeared to have plenty of cash. Musk was taken aback by the suggestion.
This exchange continues to haunt me pic.twitter.com/W06oSqx0MR
— Dave Smith (@redletterdave) April 25, 2022
He purchased a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, making him the company’s second-largest shareholder. In comparison, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey owns 2.5% of the company. When Twitter realized something was wrong, it offered Musk a seat on the Twitter Board of Directors. However, there was a stipulation. It is not permissible for a board member to take over the company. Musk turned down the board seat.
A few days later, he proposed buying Twitter for nearly $44 billion, or $54.20 per share. Musk has publicly stated that he sees enormous potential in the platform and wishes to unlock it by gaining complete control of the company.
— Abiodun Dominic Odunuga (ADO) (@abiodunodunuga) April 26, 2022
Earlier on Tuesday, Musk stated that free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and that Twitter is a digital town square where important issues affecting humanity’s future are debated. He went on to say that he wanted to make Twitter “better than ever” by adding new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spambots, and authenticating all humans.
It becomes reality https://t.co/sSKo25h4V0
— Truptimaya Tripathy (@TruptimayaTrip1) April 26, 2022
Why did Elon Musk want to buy Twitter?
Elon Musk has stated that he wants to promote free and open speech on the service, which he sees as an important place for people to share their opinions.
He elaborated on some of his plans in a TED interview shortly after announcing his bid.
“Well, I think it’s very important to have an inclusive arena for free speech,” Musk explained. “Twitter has become a de facto town square, so it’s really important that people have both the reality and the perception that they can speak freely within the bounds of the law.”
Musk has not stated whether he would lift the permanent ban on former President Donald Trump, who was barred from the site following the Jan. 6 insurgency last year.
Critics of Musk’s plan have expressed concern that he will allow extremist content on the site, which Twitter and other social media companies are working hard to eliminate. During his TED talk, Musk admitted that content moderation is not a black-and-white issue.
He stated that Twitter should be “very cautious with permanent bans,” and that timeouts were preferable.
“Well, I think we should err on the side of allowing the speech to exist if in doubt.” But if there’s a gray area, I’d say leave the tweet alone,” he said. “However, in a case where there is likely to be a lot of controversy, you’re not necessarily going to promote that tweet.” “I’m not claiming to have all the answers.”
He stated once more that his deal was not about making money. “I have a strong intuitive sense that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important for the future of civilization,” he said. “I don’t care about the economics at all.”
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