Elon Musk is one of the world’s richest and most famous humans, and Twitter is one of the world’s largest social platforms. Over the course of the last year, you’ve probably heard more and more about Elon Musk and Twitter, but breaking down all the different news stories can be confusing. So, in this article, we’ll give you a simple guide to everything you need to know about Elon Musk and Twitter.
Elon Musk Buys Twitter
Our story begins back in April 2022 when Elon purchased 9% of Twitter’s shares. Soon after this purchase, Elon made another offer: to buy Twitter outright for $54.20 a share, totaling $44 billion. This offer was well above what Twitter was worth, and while there is much to suggest the company didn’t necessarily want to be owned by Elon, this price proved too competitive.
By the end of April, Twitter accepted Elon’s offer. However, just a few weeks later Elon announced that he was putting the Twitter deal on hold. According to Elon, he needed to investigate Twitter’s claims of only 5% of the user base being comprised of fake and spam accounts, as he suspected much more of Twitter’s users were fake.
Elon continued making claims until Twitter sued him, at which point Elon countersued, and the two became embroiled in a legal battle. However, before the trial, Musk and Twitter eventually reached a deal with Elon agreeing to pay what was originally offered. So, Elon took over Twitter, formally, on October 28th, firing key executives and kicking off a huge wave of layoffs.
And when we say huge, we mean huge. Before Elon took over, Twitter had a massive 7000+ workforce, and since Elon arrived, he’s laid off at least half of the company’s employees, bringing that number down to around 3700. Even after an acquisition, for a company of the size of Twitter, these kinds of layoffs are almost unheard of in the tech world.
Since then, leaks have revealed that Elon is giving the remaining Twitter employees an ultimatum, saying that if they want to keep working at Twitter to expect long hours, no more remote work, and a huge emphasis on engineering over other departments. Naturally, this has led to even more people leaving the company in recent days.
Twitter Bans and Donald Trump
In the wake of Elon’s takeover of Twitter, the most pressing question out there has come down to whether or not the many folks who’ve been banned from Twitter will be allowed to return. From Donald Trump to Jordan Peterson, from Kathie Griffin to Babylon Bee and a million other accounts, people wanted to know what the policies were.
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In recent years, Twitter’s moderation has become more and more active with the social media site becoming more like a Twitch and less like a YouTube. Twitch, for example, is known for having a particularly progressive bend to it with many moderation decisions not necessarily coming down to rulebreaking but rather what kind of content Twitch wants to be a part of its platform, while YouTube is known for being a bit more hands-off in the moderation department. Of course, this is all happening in the context of cancel culture still being a relevant topic that folks on both sides of the political aisle hotly debate.
So, are people being unbanned? In short, yes. Not everyone who’s been banned is being allowed to come back, but major figures like Donald Trump have been unbanned. Trump, for one, has yet to return to the platform, but many others haven’t been holding back, and this has led to much criticism of Twitter’s new leadership, most especially because of who is at the head of all these decisions coming down.
Why Do People Not Like Elon Running Twitter?
To a casual observer, Elon is an eccentric-but-brilliant genius pushing the limits of what’s possible in terms of space travel and the automotive industry. Many appreciate his rather awkward demeanor, his fondness for posting memes online, and his relatively upfront no-nonsense style and assume he’d make a good pick to lead Twitter.
However, for many, there are also lots of reasons to be concerned about Elon controlling a major social media company. There’s a litany of scandals and questionable business practices and decisions that have followed Elon for years, and in recent years, his political affiliations have come into question, too.
Many have watched the former Democrat sympathize more and more with far-right figures and complain about right-wing talking points like the ‘fake news media’ or cancel culture, and with Elon’s recent admission that he’s no longer interested in supporting the Democrat party, many worry about the direction Twitter is going, especially with the banning policy.
Even for those who don’t have a dislike for Elon as a person, there’s the concern that having a major social media platform controlled by the whims of a billionaire might not be good for free speech, depending on Elon’s mood at any given time. No doubt, there’s truth to what both Elon’s critics and fans are saying, but as to what that means for Twitter, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.