Elon Musk, has just acquired a nearly 10% stake in Twitter, worth $3 billion, shortly after questioning the social network’s handling of free speech.
On Monday, April 4, it became known that Tesla’s CEO, a fervent generator of controversial tweets, acquired 9.2% of Twitter, thus becoming the largest shareholder of the social network. The announcement caused Twitter’s shares to soar the same day, around 26%, according to Bloomberg.
The businessman, who is considered the world’s richest man, had been criticizing the company’s principles after conducting a poll last month among his more than 80 million Twitter followers on whether the social network respects freedom of speech. A 70% refusal apparently encouraged him to announce that he planned to create his own platform.
After the results, he tweeted, “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” adding, “What should be done?”.
Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
What should be done? https://t.co/aPS9ycji37
Musk has had a rocky relationship with the platform due to his tweets discussing Tesla’s finances, which has brought him legal disputes with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Musk’s suggestions about an algorithm shift to an open-source network that the social network should adopt had the support of former Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who last year resigned as CEO, The New York Times noted.
Jack Dorsey, who maintains a friendly relationship with Musk, was replaced by Parag Agrawal.
According to Bloomberg, it is unclear whether the Tesla CEO, who has earned about $1.1 billion from mid-March to date on Twitter’s stock surge, will be joining the social network’s board of directors, however there is also speculation that he could acquire the entire company.
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives on Monday slipped his opinion on the matter: “We would expect this passive stake as just the start of broader conversations with the Twitter board/management that could ultimately lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter.”
The document detailing the start of Musk’s involvement in Twitter dates back to March 14, and the social network’s stock has risen 50% since then, according to the NY Times.