Elon Musk Buys Twitter, At What Cost?


Abiagael Mc Nelis, Staff Writer

Twitter, the social media platform that has been around since 2006. The app flourished for its ability to create spaces for speech, and is now said to be the, “center of controversy over the distribution of fake news and misinformation, sometimes leading to bullying and violence” according to CNBC. Now, Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, has purchased the app for $44 Billion with the intention to maintain and amplify the app’s atmosphere. 


Musk’s pursuit to buy Twitter began early this year with his vocalization about his position as the number one shareholder of the app, “with a 9% stake” according to the National Public Radio. Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, offered a seat on the board of directors to Musk due to his stakes in the company, in which Musk later declined. Soon after this, on April 14, “Musk offer[ed] to buy Twitter at $54.60 per share” according to ABC News. This forty billion dollar deal, was his self proclaimed, “… best and final offer”, as quoted in NPR. Musk’s financial offering followed his intent with the purchase,“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,” said Musk. Musk’s eagerness displayed through his Twitter presence was not sustained in the lawsuit, in which he communicated to the Chief Financial Advisor for this deal that he was unsure about maintaining the deal with the intense political climate (Russian invasion of Ukraine). 


As the deal was put on hold, Musk expressed his concerns with the app’s abundance of spam or fake accounts due to its effect on the app’s value. May through June of this year consisted of this banter through twitter, that led to Musks breaking the deal. Twitter counteracted his decision by suing him in which Twitter alleges, “Musk refuses to honor his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.” On July 29, 2022 sued twitter  and held, “He holds that Twitter misled him over fake accounts and accuses the social media company of fraud.”


The complex legality of the situation meant that Musk needed to follow through with his initial deal, and he did on October 27. 


This end of this feud has begun another. Musk’s initial Twitter initiative consisted of his self proclaimed “free speech absoluti[sm]” and the resurgence of previously banned members (Former President Donald J Trump).  These initiatives have been put into action through an extreme set of steps. 


After an unsuccessful lawsuit, Musk layed off 50% of twitter staff in a matter of days. Notably removing Parag Ardwal, Ned Segal, and Vijaraya Gadde, major members of the Twitter industry. Along with this, Musk has privatized the company, removing Twitter stock, and removing shareholders. 

Starting off the company in October with an unideal financial status, has brought upon the birth of the $7.99 verification subscription. This allows non-automatically- verified people to be verified with the blue checkmark seen next to automatically verified creators. There has also been the formation of a “content moderation council”, according to the New York Times. This council maintains what is grounds for speech to be taken down, and what is not.


Musk’s six-month long pursuit to be the owner of Twitter, is just the beginning of Twitter’s story.