Elon Musk and Twitter’s relationship took a new turn when he announced that he plans to buy Twitter at a cost of $54.20 per share. He has also called out the San Francisco-based microblogging platform for not following the “principle of free speech.”
“This is not a way to sort of make money. My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important…. So the future of civilization, but you don’t care about the economics at all,” Musk said at a TED conference in Vancouver about his $43 billion bid for Twitter.
His comments are in line with what he said in his letter to Twitter shareholders. The letter by Musk read, “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.”
He also noted that Twitter should open-source its algorithm so that users know what is happening with their account, while adding this would avoid “behind-the-scenes manipulation, either algorithmically or manually”. He said, “And so one of the things that I believe Twitter should do is open-source the algorithm and make any changes to people’s tweets, if they’re emphasised or de-emphasised, that action should be made apparent so anyone can see that action has been taken.”
We map the recent developments around Musk-Twitter to get a sense of how things escalated quickly between Elon Musk and the popular microblogging platform.
1.March 27: Elon Musk pitches the idea of launching a new social media app wherein users can say what they can post what they like, very much in line with ex-US President Donald Trump’s ideology behind launching his social media app ‘Social Truth’. Musk pitched this as an alternative to Twitter as it is “failing to adhere to free speech principles.”
2. While some users liked his idea to launch a new app, others urged Musk to buy Twitter instead of developing a new app.
3. April 5: Musk then went on to purchase a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter, becoming the largest shareholder in the platform for a brief period of time. American investment advisor Vanguard is the largest shareholder in Twitter as of now with 10.3 per cent of the firm.
4. April 6: Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal welcomed Musk to the board and said that he will “bring great value to the board.” Musk replied to his tweet and wrote, “Looking forward to working with Parag and Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!”
5. April 12: And then Musk decided not to join Twitter's board. Twitter highlighted the phrase ‘background check’ in its statement. CEO Agrawal said that they’ll remain open to Musk’s inputs since he is the biggest shareholder.
6. April 14: Musk then makes a bid for Twitter, making an offer to buy 100 per cent of Twitter for $43 billion or $54.20 per share. He said in the SEC filing, “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder. Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.”
7. April 15: Agrawal told his colleagues that the company is reviewing Musk’s offer to take it private. He said, “The board would follow a “rigorous process” and make a decision “in the best interest of our shareholders.”
8. April 15: Twitter is currently evaluating Musk’s offer and is likely to announce its decision in the coming days.
(With India Today Inputs)
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