After successfully completing his $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk has stated that there won’t be any immediate changes to the content moderation policies of the platform.
“To be super clear, we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies,” he tweeted.
He had previously declared the formation of a new council to control posts.
He added a tweet promising to “free from Twitter jail” “anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons.”
“Comedy is now legal on Twitter,” he said.
Since Musk took over the company following lengthy delays to the deal, senior Twitter employees have announced their departures.
Concerns center on Musk’s future plans for the location.
Regulators are closely monitoring the potential changes, and Twitter users are divided over them. Some are concerned Musk will relax restrictions on hate speech and false information, while others believe the previous administration severely restricted free speech.
Twitter will create a council with “widely diverse viewpoints,” according to Musk.
“No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” he said, shortly before confirming that Twitter had ended artist Kanye West’s suspension from the platform before his acquisition.
Ye, the stage name of rapper Kanye West, was kicked off because of remarks he made that were anti-Semitic.
Ned Segal, the head of finance, was one of the senior executives to announce his departure from the company following Musk’s takeover. Bret Taylor, the board chairman, has also left, and it was widely reported that Parag Agrawal, the CEO of Twitter, who Musk had criticized, had also been fired. Agrawal still lists himself as “ceo @twitter” on Twitter, though.
The biggest US automaker, General Motors, which competes with Musk’s Tesla, has announced that it has temporarily stopped running paid advertisements on Twitter. The statement from GM stated that the company was “engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership.”
“The bird is free,” Musk wrote on the platform late on Thursday, while assuring advertisers in a public note that he did not want Twitter to become a “free-for-all hellscape”.
He has hinted that he wants Twitter to undergo significant change. A self-described “free speech absolutist,” he has stated that he views the website as a forum for public discussion and is prepared to lift restrictions on users who have offended him, including former President Donald Trump.
The former finance chief Segal reflected on the stress brought on by the uncertainty of the previous six months while tweeting that his time at the company was the “most fulfilling of my career.”
“You learn so much when times are challenging and unpredictable, when we are tired or feel our integrity questioned,” Segal said, alluding to Musk’s public criticism of the company’s leadership.
“I have great hope for Twitter,” he added.
“In Europe, the bird will fly by our EU rules,” tweeted Thierry Breton, the commissioner in charge of regulating the EU’s digital market, implying that regulators will take a tough stance against any relaxation of Twitter’s policies.
Fair Vote UK and Media Matters for America are among a group of left-leaning activist organizations in the US called Stop the Deal that claimed Elon Musk had a “thirst for chaos” and that his potential plans would turn Twitter into “an even more hate-filled cesspool, leading to irreparable real-world harm.”
Following the Capitol riot in January 2021, Trump, who was previously banned from Twitter, expressed his “love” for his own Twitter-like service, Truth Social, while expressing his happiness that Twitter was now in “sane hands.”
Former Russian president and current vice-chair of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev praised the new management.
“Good luck @elonmusk in overcoming political bias and ideological dictatorship on Twitter,” tweeted Medvedev.
Up until recently, it seemed like the deal might still fail.
After investing in Twitter at the beginning of the year, . Musk made his $44 billion offer in April, a price that appeared excessive almost immediately after it was accepted.
He pledged to eliminate spam accounts and maintain the platform as a forum for free speech and claimed that he was purchasing it because he wanted “civilization to have a common digital town square.”
But by the summer, he had reconsidered the purchase, citing worries that there were more phony accounts on the site than Twitter had claimed.
Twitter executives filed a lawsuit to enforce Musk’s offer, claiming that he was refusing because he was worried about the cost.
The transaction was finalized on Thursday when Elon Musk-controlled company paid $54.20 per share to acquire the business, according to a filing made with the US government on Friday.
Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives predicted that the $44 billion price tag would go down in history as “one of the most overpaid tech acquisitions on the Street.”
“As we have discussed, the easy part for Musk was buying Twitter, the difficult part and Everest-like uphill battle looking ahead will be fixing this troubled asset,” he wrote.
Even though it contributes significantly to public discourse, Twitter is still a relatively small social media platform with only 240 million accounts that are active every day, as opposed to nearly 2 billion on Facebook.
The general market decline in digital advertising has been difficult for it.
It’s unclear at this time whether the departure of senior management marks the beginning of company-wide job cuts. According to earlier reports, 75% of the social media company’s employees were likely to lose their jobs.
According to terms agreed upon earlier this year, departing executives will be entitled to sizable payouts. According to a May filing with the US government, Agrawal could receive a package worth up to $60 million, while Segal could receive more than $46 million.
(Adapted from BBC.com)