It appears to be official—billionaire emerald mine heir Elon Musk offered $44 billion to buy Twitter and the company has reportedly accepted after seeming to initially resist the Tesla CEO’s attempts to take over the massive social media platform. This is close to Musk’s initial offer of $43 billion, estimating the company to be worth $54.20 per share.
In a press release about the purchase, Musk went on about his supposed support of freedom of speech, which is not backed up by his previous actions, and promised to authenticate every one of the countless accounts that has been made on Twitter.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Twitter had initially launched a “poison pill” measure meant to stop or delay Musk from acquiring the company, but that either failed miserably or was withdrawn as it handed itself over to the billionaire just days later.
Many users have expressed concern over how Musk will run Twitter as a private company, worrying about a lack of transparency as well as the potential for a massive surge in harassment of marginalized users if he lets unrestrained fascists back onto the platform. Rather than promoting freedom of speech, letting dangerous individuals and groups like neo-Nazis run around to threaten and viciously harass people already under stress will simply drive these underrepresented voices back underground.
Others have taken issue with billionaires in general buying up media platforms in order to silence dissent against a system that has put vast resources into the hands of a few while hundreds of millions can’t even get enough food on a reliable basis.