Elon Musk buys 9.2% stake in Twitter, becomes its largest shareholder
Musk, the SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO, complained about free speech on Twitter
Elon Musk is making news on Twitter once again today, but this time it’s because the SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO bought 9.2% stake in Twitter. This makes Musk the largest shareholder of the social media company.
Elon Musk’s passive stake in Twitter was worth $2.89 billion based on Friday’s closing stock price, according to CNBC. Naturally, Twitter’s stock has risen during the opening hours, so those 73,486,938 are now worth a bit more money.
Why Musk buying Twitter stake is important
Musk doesn’t displace current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal with this purchase (Agrawal took the CEO role after founder Jack Dorsey stepped down last November), but he could influence and shape the microblogging social media company.
The news of Elon Musk’s 9.2% stake comes just 10 days after seemingly questioning the free speech commitments of Twitter, which has he called “the de facto public town square.” He asked his more than 80 million Twitter followers: “What should be done?” This may be Musk’s answer.
Elon Musk @elonmuskFree speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
Elon Musk’s version of ‘free speech’ to Twitter?
Twitter’s management, in its messy bid for its version of fairness and truth on the social media platform, has controversially banned certain accounts and removed disputed tweets, and it’s been accused of silencing accounts.
The reasons for these moderation actions vary, ranging from tweets being deemed hate speech against other users to providing misinformation about impactful topics – but sometimes the reasoning isn’t even known. Fairly or unfairly, it’s a no-win situation in which no one will agree. Content moderation has become the biggest hurdle for social media companies.
Elon Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist” and it’s not hard to see how Twitter could become a more open de facto public town square rather than less so now that Musk has taken such a large stake in its future. Now, if only Elon Musk could fix the never-ending PS5 restock problem over at Sony and the greater global ship shortage affecting everyone including Tesla.
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