Multi-billionaire Tesla boss Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter. The new eccentric Twitter owner entered the building carrying a sink on 26 October, posting the video to the social media platform with the caption “let that sink in!”
Musk has already begun to lay off former top executives, including former boss Parag Agrawal. His takeover is widely viewed as an attempt to fight back against the perceived pro-censorship position of Twitter employees. The world's richest man is a self-styled “free speech absolutist” and has been frequently critical of Twitter's moderation policy, which some say has unfairly banned conservative voices.
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
Musk makes the magnanimous claim that he bought the social media platform to help humanity. He stressed the importance of the platform as a “common digital town square where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner without resorting to violence.”
Twitter employees are anxiously waiting to see whether they will keep their jobs after Musk promised to cut 75% of positions. Senior Tesla (also owned by Musk) executives have disputed this but conceded that significant “trimming” of staff would occur in senior management.
Reuters news agency has reported that former boss Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal were escorted out of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters after Musk closed the deal on the company.
In July, Musk attempted to backtrack on his promise to purchase the company, claiming that Twitter had not been transparent about the number of bots on the platform. Twitter reminded the new owner that he was legally committed to purchase the company, launching a lawsuit to hold him to the deal. By October, Musk once again revived his takeover plans, on the condition that the lawsuits were dropped.
The new Twitter takeover may open the door for the return of one of the platform’s most controversial users, former US President Donald Trump, who alleges to have been told that his account would be reinstated by Monday. The American right has hailed Musk’s takeover, as the multi-billionaire is widely regarded as sympathetic to conservative politicians and personalities.