How World Reacted to $43 Billion Twitter Bid by Elon Musk
The speculation about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s interest in taking over Twitter was always there after the billionaire investor declined a seat on the board, but few expected the offer to come this soon. Musk’s surprise offer to buy Twitter and take it private elicited mixed reactions, as the executive, who describes himself as a free-speech absolutist, advocates for fewer restrictions on the type of content posted on the microblogging platform.
Many are concerned about a possible lack of accountability and the impact of the social media behemoth on democracies in the event of minimal moderation, as they have struggled to contain hate speech. “Twitter is far too important to be owned and controlled by a single individual,” venture capitalist Fred Wilson tweeted. “The opposite should be true. Twitter’s administration should be decentralized.”
“I am concerned about the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter,” Max Boot, a Washington Post columnist, tweeted. “He appears to believe that anything goes on social media. We need more content moderation, not less, if democracy is to survive “Boot has been added.
Given that much of Elon Musk’s money is invested in Tesla stock and SpaceX, it has been unclear how he would fund the all-cash offer. While reports indicate that Twitter is considering Musk’s offer, opposition from shareholders or board members could put Musk’s offer on hold.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has already tweeted his opposition to the proposal, claiming that it is too low. “I don’t believe that @elonmusk’s proposed offer ($54.20) comes close to @Twitter’s intrinsic value given its growth prospects,” he tweeted.
Musk responded sharply, questioning Saudi Arabia’s “views on journalistic freedom of speech.”
Musk’s stance on the approach to policing the platform’s content, particularly for the most high-profile violations of its terms of service, has been divisive. Former US President Donald Trump has been barred from using the platform indefinitely after his tweets and videos sparked an uprising at the US Capitol. However, Trump supporters have expressed their displeasure with the company’s decision.
Musk, without naming the former US President, stated that he does not believe “We just want to be very hesitant to delete things and very cautious with permanent bans. Timeouts, in my opinion, are preferable.” Musk’s supporters dubbed Musk’s hostile takeover bid the “best news for free speech in years!”
Republican Senator Ted Cruz has stated his support for less moderation. In response to Boot’s criticism, he tweeted, “If the left thinks they’re right, why are they so afraid of free speech?”
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