February 22, 2024

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Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover bid draws surprise, skepticism — and celebration

4 min read

It must arrive as no shock that Elon Musk proposing a hostile takeover of Twitter on Thursday promptly grew to become the communicate of Twitter — as perfectly as subreddits like WallStreetBets, and conservative social media platforms Gettr and Truth Social. 

The chatter ranged from supporters celebrating Musk’s move as a takedown of “Big Tech,” to critics (and individuals identifying as Twitter staff members) threatening to go away the system if Musk received his way, and questioning what he understands about running a social media firm.

On Twitter
TWTR,
+3.93%,
“Elon Musk” trended with “free speech” on Thursday early morning. He was also a leading Google
GOOGL,
-4.15%
research craze, along with Twitter and his EV firm Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
-.37%,
drawing far more than 200,000 lookups. The most common Google queries included, “Can Elon Musk takeover Twitter?” and “Why is Elon attempting to get Twitter?”

Several conservative politicians and pundits, nevertheless smarting from former President Donald Trump’s personal account staying “permanently suspended” from Twitter final calendar year “due to the hazard of further more incitement of violence” next the Jan. 6 Capitol assault, have accused the system (and Meta-owned
FB,
-2.11%
Facebook, which also suspended Trump) of liberal bias and silencing cost-free speech.

The far-correct social media system Gettr stated that Musk’s takeover bid was more proof that “Twitter is a damaged platform” in a push launch on Thursday. 

“It’s very clear Twitter disrespected the world’s richest guy, and he realizes that whilst Twitter’s technologies is excellent, the people today working it cannot be mounted,” Gettr CEO Jason Miller explained in a statement. “Musk has manufactured apparent that in get to be saved, Twitter demands a wholesale tear-down to the foundation, its leadership ought to be eliminated, and the politically discriminating ideologues managing working day to working day operations have to be changed.” 

Other conservative critics proposed that Musk getting Twitter could direct to Trump rejoining the platform — though the previous president said Thursday that “Twitter’s grow to be extremely tedious,” so he didn’t intend to arrive back even if Musk would have him back again on. Some others crowed that Musk obtaining Twitter would bring no cost speech “back” to the platform. 

It need to be noted that Twitter has been cracking down on accounts pushing misinformation or spreading inflammatory remarks — this kind of as Trump’s — in a press toward accountability and transparency as social media companies have had to reckon with their opportunity job in drug addiction, demise, psychological ailment and sexual abuse, as effectively as the spread of wellness and COVID misinformation for the duration of the pandemic. But that has not essentially silenced conservative voices. A latest inside Twitter examine found that articles from appropriate-wing politicians and ideal-leaning information retailers acquired a higher strengthen from its algorithm in comparison to remaining-leaning information retailers. 

So even some admirers of Musk proposed that he may well be in around his head in this article.

And some critics stated that some of Musk’s steps on Twitter suggested he would be placing his self pursuits forward of 1st Modification rights like flexibility of speech.

“Leave Twitter” started trending with much more than 172,000 tweets and counting, as individuals with lively Twitter accounts, and some figuring out as personnel of the enterprise, threatened to defect if Musk took over. 

Others identified as on Musk to just take the $41 billion he’d be making use of to acquire Twitter to gain the globe in other ways — these types of as Musk’s modern assert that he would be inclined to fork out to conclude environment hunger, which did not actually pan out. And the significant $41 billion determine currently being thrown around also stoked the prosperity inequality discussion. 

There were being also ideas that Musk should really begin his individual social media platform — or to choose more than Trump’s struggling Truth Social app — and some scaled-down social media organizations like Gab even posted counteroffers for Musk to commit in their organizations, rather. 

This getting social media, there have been plenty of jokes and memes currently being passed about, of course, with several which includes Musk and the Dogecoin Shiba Inu. (In fact, a lot of supporters started musing irrespective of whether a Musk-operate Twitter would let them spend or idea in Dogecoin.)

While numerous people on WallStreetBets — a subreddit that popularized meme stocks Activity Stop
GME,
-2.36%
and Bed Bathtub and Past
BBBY,
+6.85%
— had been fast to joke about the obtain opportunity, there was some really serious assumed on what he was hoping to do.

“The authorized pump and dump,” wrote one person. “Buy stock. Inventory soars. Significant d— give to obtain total corporation. Sell when offer rejected, and categorical that you no for a longer period really feel comfortable in your investment.”

Likewise, fellow billionaire Mark Cuban prompt that Musk is executing all this to mess with the SEC (negative language inform in this tweet).

Following opening up, the business gave back most of its gains. As of 1 p.m., shares ended up up less than a greenback as compared to Wednesday’s close.

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