On the evening of Thursday, October 27, Elon Musk announced that he had finally taken control of the social network Twitter. The cost of the operation amounts to 44 billion dollars.
Elon Musk officially announced it in a tweet on Thursday October 27. “The Bird is Freed”he says. He just bought Twitter for $44 billion., opening an uncertain new chapter for the platform at the heart of political and media life in the United States and many countries. He had until Friday to complete the acquisition of the social network, failing which a trial would have taken place in November.
A few days before the opening of a lawsuit that Twitter seemed on track to win, Elon Musk finally offered to conclude the transaction at the initially agreed price. On Wednesday, he visited Twitter headquarters in San Francisco and renamed himself “Chief Twit” on his profile — “twit” meaning “moron” in English. He then retweeted a photo of himself surrounded by Twitter employees at an office cafe. Thursday evening, several employees of the Californian group showed their support for the former management.
After months of a twists and turns saga, the new boss immediately fired boss Parag Agrawal and two other executives, chief financial officer Ned Segal and head of legal affairs Vijaya Gadde, according to unnamed sources from CNBC and the Washington Post. In late April, shortly after signing the initial takeover deal, Elon Musk had already publicly criticized Twitter executives and mocked Vijaya Gadde.
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This new takeover worries a large part of Twitter employees, many users and NGOs who call on social networks to better fight against abuse, from harassment to misinformation. The multibillionaire, presenting himself as an ardent defender of freedom of expression, wants to relax the moderation of content. He opened the door to a return of Donald Trump, ousted from Twitter shortly after backing his supporters who took part in the January 2021 Capitol Storm.
What changes on Twitter?
Elon Musk said he wanted to allow all opinions to be expressed on the social network, without making it a platform “hellish” where everything would be allowed. He is “important for the future of civilization to have an online public square where a wide variety of opinions can debate in a healthy way, without resorting to violence”he wrote in a message specifically addressed to brands, which bring in the bulk of Twitter’s revenue.
The billionaire assures that he did not initiate the takeover because it was “easy” Where “to make money”but for “trying to help humanity”. It plans to strengthen the fight against spam. He also made cryptic allusions to “X”, his vision of an all-purpose application (messaging, social network, financial services, etc.), like WeChat in China. He also plans to take Twitter out of the stock market.
(update with AFP)