[Global Times special correspondent in the United States Yang Zheng, Global Times reporter Li Xiaoxiao] “I bought Twitter not to make money, but to try to help the human beings I love.” Tesla CEO Elon Musk officially paid $44 billion on the 27th Acquired Twitter, became the new CEO of the social media, and changed his self-introduction on Twitter to “Chief Twit” (chief pusher). In the United States, both Tesla and Twitter are giant giants, affecting two major industries respectively. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter comes at a time when the U.S. mid-term elections are about to begin. What impact this acquisition will have on U.S. politics, society, and the economy is under evaluation by many parties.
After the acquisition, there will be a big move
The Washington Post quoted sources as saying that on the evening of the 27th local time, Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter has been completed, gaining control of the company. Musk tweeted that “the bird is freed”, which means “Twitter is free” (Twitter’s brand logo is a blue bird).
Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has been a series of twists and turns. The Wall Street Journal said on the 27th that the completion of the transaction means that the tug-of-war between Musk and Twitter is over. In April, Twitter accepted Musk’s offer to go private and put him on the board. But Musk abruptly announced in May that the acquisition was “on hold” and demanded that Twitter release details on the number of spam and fake accounts. Two months later, Musk said he would terminate the $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, citing Twitter’s failure to “comply with its contractual obligations” and serious violations of multiple terms in the deal. The move was sued by Twitter, accusing Musk of “refusing to meet his obligations to Twitter and its shareholders because the deal is no longer in his personal interest.”
Earlier this month, Musk once again expressed his willingness to acquire. The court ruled on the 6th to suspend the trial of Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk, and Musk must complete the acquisition transaction before 17:00 on the 28th, otherwise the court will restart the trial in November. According to the US CNBC website, Musk finally completed the deal a day before the deadline.
It is the so-called three fires when a new official takes office. It is reported that Musk will clean up the management as soon as he takes office. Bloomberg said on the 28th that Musk fired Twitter CEO Agrawal, CFO Siegel, and legal policy director Gade and other executives. Musk has accused the trio of misleading him and Twitter’s investors about fake account data on the Twitter platform. Agrawal and Siegel were immediately escorted out of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters as soon as Musk’s acquisition of Twitter was completed, the sources said. In addition, Musk denied the previous news that after the acquisition of Twitter, Musk will lay off 75% of the staff, saying that there is no plan to lay off large-scale layoffs, giving employees a reassurance. Hours before the announcement of the acquisition, Musk went to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco to chat with employees as a gesture of friendliness.
Or restore Trump’s account
The “Wall Street Journal” said on the 28th that Musk claimed to be an absolutist of free speech, promising to limit content moderation and support free speech. But the practice could put Twitter at odds with some advertisers, politicians and users who would prefer a slightly more moderated platform.
Musk has said he would restore former US President Donald Trump’s account if he bought Twitter. Trump’s account was permanently frozen by Twitter for his remarks in response to the riots at the U.S. Capitol early last year. According to the Wall Street Journal, GroupM, the world-renowned media investment management group, said this is a red line for some brands. Customers of more than a dozen brands have said they will suspend all advertising on Twitter if Trump’s account is reinstated, the company said. Other clients are taking a wait-and-see approach. Some analysts also worry about whether Trump’s Twitter account, once restored, will have an impact on the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.
In an effort to appease these advertisers, Musk said in a letter titled “Dear Twitter Advertisers” that Twitter cannot be a hellish place to do whatever you want and speak irresponsibly, the Financial Times reported.
Will he mess around?
The Associated Press said on the 27th that Musk said the acquisition of Twitter was because having a “common digital town square is critical to the future development of civilization. Here people of all faiths can debate freely in a healthy way, while No need to resort to violence”. The danger, he believes, is that social media will split into echo chambers of the far right or the far left, “producing more and more hate speech that divides our society”. But some worry that Musk may weaken or even abandon all moderation, making the comments on Twitter more extreme.
The New York Times said on the 27th that Musk appeared on the global political stage as a new chaotic factor. While many billionaires like to tweet about international affairs, Musk is unrivaled when it comes to influence and trouble-making ability, and he has left a lot of mess behind. The BBC also stated on the 28th that the new owner of Twitter had “caused trouble” many times because of his random firecrackers on social platforms, and even commented on Tesla’s stock several times, causing the car company’s stock price to plummet. “Technology has become the core of geopolitics,” The New York Times quoted German scholar Kornbreu as saying, “It’s fascinating but also confusing, and Musk is in it.”