Now the platform that had almost lost interest in his eyes is regaining it. Elon Musk said Thursday, on the eve of a deadline for his takeover of Twitter, that he wanted to allow all opinions to be expressed on the social network, but did not want to make it a “hellish” platform.
It is “important for the future of civilization to have an online public square where a wide variety of opinions can debate in a healthy way, without resorting to violence”, he wrote in a message addressed to the advertisers. “Having said that, Twitter obviously can’t be a hellish place open to everyone, where anything can be said without consequence,” he added.
Elon Musk has not yet officially finalized the acquisition of Twitter, but several signals show that the operation is underway and that, barring yet another twist, the saga that has been going on for several months between the entrepreneur and the social network should come to an end. The multibillionaire went to Twitter headquarters on Wednesday and renamed himself “Chief Twit” on his profile – “twit” meaning “moron” in English.
The money begins to be wired
According to the Wall Street Journal, the banks participating in the financing of the operation have also begun to send the money. And the New York Stock Exchange, where Twitter is listed, said in a notice that the platform’s stock would be suspended before the opening of trading on Friday.
Elon Musk is pressed for time: a judge responsible for settling a dispute between the two parties has given them until Friday to agree, failing which a trial will take place in November.
The operation has dragged on since the announcement at the end of April of a $44 billion acquisition offer, reluctantly accepted by Twitter. The entrepreneur sought to get out of it unilaterally in early July, accusing the company of lying to him, but the company’s board of directors filed a complaint. A few days before the opening of a lawsuit that Twitter seemed on track to win, Elon Musk finally offered to conclude the transaction at the price initially agreed.
Elon Musk wants to ‘help humanity’
In his message to advertisers Thursday, Elon Musk assures that he did not start the operation because it was “easy” or “to make money”, but to “try to help humanity “.
Presenting himself as a staunch defender of freedom of expression, he has already indicated that he intends to relax the moderation of content, rekindling concerns about a possible resurgence of abuse and misinformation on the platform. “There is currently a great danger that social media will split between echo chambers of the far right and the far left, thus generating more hatred and division in our society,” he wrote in his message.
“In addition to respecting the laws, our platform must be warm and welcoming for everyone,” he adds, however. Users must be able to choose what they see on the network “according to their preferences, in the same way that you can for example watch films or play video games for all ages”. It is also essential, according to Elon Musk, to show advertisements that correspond as much as possible to the “needs” of Internet users. Twitter “aims to be the most respected advertising platform in the world,” he says.
Elon Musk wants to cut 75% of staff
Once the transaction is finalized, Elon Musk will be able to replace the members of the board of directors and the management of the group. The Tesla boss has also already told investors that he ultimately intends to lay off almost 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, according to information published last week.
“The easiest part for Musk was buying Twitter,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note Thursday. For the richest man in the world, the challenge now will be to “repair this asset in difficulty”. The operation will remain, according to this analyst, as “one of the most overpaid technology acquisitions” in history.