Elon Musk, the world's richest man, clinched a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion on Monday and take control of the one of the most influential social media platform’s worldwide
Elon Musk, the world's richest man, clinched a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion on Monday and take control of the one of the most influential social media platform’s worldwide.
The publicly traded firm will now become a private company owned by Musk, who negotiated a purchase price of $54.20 per-share, Twitter said.
Musk has criticized Twitter's moderation, calling himself a free speech absolutist, said that Twitter's algorithm for prioritizing tweets should be public, and has criticized giving too much power on the service to corporations that advertise.
"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 a statement.
"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," he added.
Republican lawmakers welcomed news that billionaire Elon Musk, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, was purchasing Twitter Inc, but Democrats slammed it as a sign that more needed to be done to rein in Big Tech, according to a Reuters report.
Political activists expect that a Musk regime will mean less moderation and reinstatement of banned individuals including former President Donald Trump, the report said.
Conservatives cheered the prospect of fewer controls while some human rights activists voiced fears of a rise in hate speech.
Musk himself has described as user-friendly tweaks to the service, such as an edit button and defeating "spam bots" that send overwhelming amounts of unwanted tweets.
The deal had appeared uncertain after Musk first mounted a hostile bid to acquire the company last week, but picked up momentum over the week-end after Musk impressed Twitter shareholders with the financing details of his offer.
Under pressure, Twitter started negotiating with Musk to buy the company at his proposed $54.20 per share price.
The White House declined to comment on Musk's deal to buy Twitter, but said that President Joe Biden has long been concerned about the power of social media platforms, including Twitter and others, to spread misinformation"
The White House continues to advocate for revoking Section 230, a law that shields online companies from liability over content posted by users, and supports ramping up anti-trust and transparency enforcement on technology companies, said White House spokesperson Jen Psaki.
Biden administration officials think tougher scrutiny could prevent the spreading of false information on political issues and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also read: Elon Musk mounts $43 billion hostile bid to buy Twitter