Elon Musk puts his R690 billion Twitter purchase on ice

Date:13 May 2022 Author: Juandre

Elon Musk tweeted his decision to put his $44 billion (R690 billion) Twitter takeover purchase on hold. Musk says he wants to know more about how many of the social media platform’s accounts are bogus or spam.

 

The South African-born baller wants to buy the 16-year-old platform to live out his free-speech dreams. He thinks that Twitter is currently over-zealous in its moderation of content. “Free 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 an earlier Tweet.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans,” Musk added.

Before he goes all in, he wants to be sure that fake profiles, bots etc. do actually account for less than 5% of the current recorded user base, as Twitter reported. This is related to advertising (Musk thinking about making his bucks back?). In its 2022 earnings report, Twitter said it brought in $1.2 billion in revenue, including $1.11 billion in ad revenue.

So, the big buy is “temporarily on hold”. Musk did later on add to his statement, saying that he’s “still committed to acquisition”. Some might be hoping the hold becomes a permanent throwaway.

Numerous people have claimed that Musk’s need to punt free speech will really just promote and cultivate a platform that is littered with hate speech and misinformation. The hashtag #RIPTwitter, which started trending during initial reports of Musk’s takeover, speaks for itself.

In classic Musk controversy, he said that if he closes this deal, one of the first things he would do is reverse Twitter’s permanent ban on former US President Donald Trump. He called this move “a morally bad decision, to be clear, and foolish in the extreme”.

Social media without censorship — brilliant or a bloody massacre?

 

 

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