BILLIONAIRE TAKEOVER ACCEPTED
Twitter has agreed to accept Elon Musk’s $US44 billion takeover bid at $54.20 a share, a 38 per cent premium over the company’s current share price. The deal is set to violently shake up the social media platforms management, as Musk has big plans for the company.
Some of the many changes to the platform Musk has spoken about include human authentication requirements, new features, making the algorithms open-source, defeating spambots, and implementing better free speech processes on the platform.
“Freedom of speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement. But critics are now raising concern over Musk’s power throughout many industries.
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
From Neuralink, a company seeking to develop a brain-computer interface (chip), Tesla, space industry titan SpaceX and now a voice for free speech advocacy and majority share owner of Twitter – where does the buck stop for Musk’s ambitions? And should his increasing level of power be cause for concern?
Critics were happy to learn that more than 50% of the financing of the Twitter deal comes from a diverse variety of banks. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and other banks had promised to lend him $US25.5 billion, secured by Musk’s Tesla shares.
So Musk will not have sole ownership of the company, to begin with.
Shareholders are yet to accept the deal as of writing, but analysts predict the deal to close sometime this year, as the board are recommending shareholders accept. A shareholder vote could be held as soon as May 25, at the company’s annual meeting, as reported by ABC.
American regulators also need to review the deal before it goes ahead, but it is largely expected that hurdles to finalising will be minimal.
Musk announced in a recent TED interview that he would be “very reluctant” to delete tweets and would be cautious about “permanent bans.” Musk said it was “quite dangerous” to have “tweets be mysteriously promoted and demoted” and have a “black-box algorithm,” which no one can understand.
He also made it clear that making the algorithm open source, so that the community can help make the platform a better place, is integral for the future of Twitter.
“Handing Musk the reins to Twitter will undoubtedly unleash the conspiracy theories that the platform has attempted to squelch, and any attempt to use the platform for legitimate information sharing will be overshadowed by a toxic cesspool of misinformation,” Media Matters for America said in a statement.