Sure, Elon Musk is no stranger to Twitter. The two were already inseperable, with the tech CEO gaining widespread fame and notoriety for his interesting, funny, and sometimes plain bizarre tweets.
After spending over a decade on the platform, Musk has finally decided to bite the bullet and acquire a sizable portion of the company. As per a US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filing this Monday, Musk now owns a 9.2% passive stake in the world’s favourite microblogging platform.
While the price is currently fluctuating wildly – today’s reports amount to a 26% surge – we do know that Musk now owns 73.4 million shares in Twitter. According to Friday’s Twitter stock prices, this amounts to a staggering $2.89 billion.
Musk’s investment was labeled as ‘passive’, which means that he will have no significant contribution to the day-to-day functioning of Twitter. However, given his recent statements, will he stay that way for long?
Back in late March 2022, Musk conducted a poll on Twitter asking followers questions about how the platform is run:
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
After using the votes of two million Twitter users to make his point about how undemocratic Twitter really is, he went on to make further points – most importantly, asking his followers if a new platform was needed:
Is a new platform needed?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
Naturally, the eventual purchase of Twitter stock has led many to believe that Musk has grand designs for the future of social media. Some heralded Musk’s new stake as an important move to support free speech:
Others debated on whether or not Musk’s supposed free speech ideals are a case of misplaced optimism – highlighting how unmonitored free speech platforms can lead to dangerous consequences:
Sure, because unmonitored “free” speech has worked so well at Gettr, 4tran, 8tran, TruthSocial, Parlor and so many others.— Joey (@ChuziChips) April 4, 2022
Others… well, simply made a joke, or screamed in agony at the thought of Musk gaining more control over the internet machine.
So, he can’t start his own social network? Lol— Lethabo (@Cheetahplains) April 4, 2022
NO GOD NOOOOO— BaityBait (@BaityBait) April 4, 2022
NO NO NO
While Twitter users seem opinionated on Musk’s involvement with social media, they’re not the only ones. Last month, Musk asked a federal judge to nullify a 2018 subpoena from securities regulators, which required someone to pre-approve his posts on Twitter.
Given that Musk’s tweets cause varying changes in the world of equity investments, the regulators clamped down – arguing that Musk’s request to nullify the order was invalid.
(Featured Image Credits: Elon Musk, SpaceX)