The world’s richest individual, Elon Musk, closed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter on Thursday evening, turning the San Francisco-based social media platform with around 330 million monthly active users into its private property.
The deal was confirmed Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the New York Stock Exchange, which showed Twitter’s shares had been delisted and no longer traded on Wall Street.
Late Thursday, Musk tweeted, “The bird is set free” shortly after firing at least four of the company’s top executives: chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, chief legal and policy officer Vijaya Gadde and company general counsel Sean Edgett.
On Friday morning, he tweeted, “let the good times roll.” Later that day, he tweeted that a “content moderation council with widely diverse views” had been formed and that “no major content or account reinstatement decisions will occur until this council don’t get together”.
However, Musk had previously said he was a ‘free speech absolutist’ and would reverse Donald Trump’s permanent ban, which was implemented by Twitter following the attempted coup. Former President’s Status on January 6, 2021.
In typical arrogant fashion, Musk has not released an official press release about his plans or intentions to take over the microblogging site that has become a staple of public relations and instant news announcements around the world. . Instead, he uses the platform to tweet short snippets of information to the public.
On Wednesday, Musk posted a nine-second video of himself entering Twitter headquarters carrying a heavy ceramic sink with the words, “Entering Twitter headquarters – let it sink!”
In an exception to his typically sophomoric demeanor, Musk tweeted a short statement to Twitter advertisers on Wednesday aimed at stemming a potential rapid decline in sales revenue. He repeated some of the things he had said previously that Twitter is “important to the future of civilization” as a “common digital public square” where a “wide range of beliefs can be debated, without resorting to violence. “.
Musk wrote that he bought the platform “to try to help humanity”, that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said without consequences”. He concluded by saying that advertising, “when done well,” will continue on Twitter.
Billionaire Musk originally agreed to buy Twitter in April for $54.20 a share, then, with the stock market down 25%, he tried to walk away from the deal. After Twitter sued Musk in the Delaware Chancery Court, he backed down and agreed to go ahead with the acquisition to avoid a court battle he might lose.
Earlier in the week, Twitter employees began circulating an open letter protesting Musk’s plan to lay off 75% of the company’s staff. Time The magazine published the text of the letter which said, in part, “Elon Musk’s plan to lay off 75% of Twitter employees will harm Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation.” The letter continued, “A threat of this magnitude is reckless, undermines the trust of our users and customers in our platform, and is a transparent act of worker intimidation.
With little good economic news to report, the business press responded enthusiastically to the completion of Twitter’s private conversion. The the wall street journal wrote on Friday: “By taking Twitter private, the billionaire can probably take more risks to get the business going again.”
In his “Live Updates” coverage, the New York Times wrote: “Unlike publicly traded companies, private companies are not required to publicly disclose their performance on a quarterly basis. They are also subject to less regulatory scrutiny and can be controlled more tightly by an owner. This means that Mr. Musk can change Twitter, including changing the platform’s content rules, finances and priorities, without having to consider the concerns of the investing public.
Focused exclusively on financial performance, the fact that individual private ownership of Twitter is unable to contribute positively to society in any way is completely lost on corporate media representatives.
The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk – who has a personal fortune of $221.2 billion and also owns electric car maker Tesla and spaceship builder SpaceX – is a manifestation of the increasingly oligarchic character of the American capitalism. Like Amazon Founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington PostMusk is among the world’s richest billionaires who are increasingly exercising control over the financial, media and political levers of capitalist power.