It is clear that Elon Musk isn’t trying to take over Twitter to improve it. Musk wants to buy it to destroy it.
Musk explained his attempt to buy Twitter in Trump-like terms:
I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.
However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.
As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.
What Musk means by free speech is the unchecked ability for anyone to spread lies and disinformation. Twitter is already a speech platform. Free speech only applies to criticisms of the government, so anyone suggesting “free speech” is their motivation is hiding their true intentions.
There are questions as to how Musk will come up with $43 billion in cash, even the world’s richest man doesn’t have that much cash in the kitchen cookie jar.
Elon Musk Wants To Buy Twitter To Destroy It
Musk has no interest in guardrails, standards, and preventing misinformation. His proposals include taking the company private, selling blue verification checkmarks to users, and catering more to celebrities, which should be interpreted as one celebrity in particular (Donald Trump).
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Twitter is expected to reject Musk’s offer because it is much, much too low. Twitter’s share price was at $70 last year, and there is no data suggesting that it won’t reach or exceed that level again.
Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter to kill it.
Twitter is a place with news and information are shared quickly around the world. Twitter is also the top social media platform in terms of fighting disinformation.
The Musk bid is a threat to the kinds of open communication that democracy needs.
Elon Musk’s bid is a move toward billionaire authoritarianism.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association