Elon Musk takes over Twitter, fires executives, plans to end lifetime bans including Trump

By John Hugh DeMastri

After a monthslong legal battle, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk officially reached a deal with Twitter on Thursday to become the sole owner of the social media giant in a historic shakeup of the tech industry, according to multiple sources.

The deal, initially agreed upon in April, takes Twitter private at $54.20 per share, a roughly $44 billion transaction that the tech mogul has previously attempted to escape over claims that he was misled about the number of spam or “bot” accounts on the platform. As one of his first moves, Musk reportedly fired several top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, The Washington Post reported.

While Musk’s exact plans for the platform are not yet known at time of writing, he has made several public comments, primarily on Twitter itself, stressing the importance of the medium as a forum that protects “free speech,” according to The Washington Post. However, Musk has clearly stated that he intends to reverse the ban on former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, a decision he characterized as “flat out stupid,” at an event hosted by the Financial Times.

“For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral,” Musk tweeted on April 27, weeks after the initial deal was made. “Which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally.”

Musk has also reportedly told investors supporting his bid to purchase the company that he intends to lay off roughly 75% of the tech giant’s staff, cutting the company to just 2,000 workers, The Washington Post reported. Musk has publicly commented that he believes the company is overstaffed, but former Twitter employees and tech analysts have criticized the move as being too drastic, potentially exposing the company to security and moderation issues.

Musk has been vocal about his intention to use Twitter as a stepping stone to create an app known as X, which he describes as “the everything app.” When a Twitter user claimed that it would have been less difficult to simply build X from scratch, Musk countered that the purchase would shave 3 to 5 years of development time, although he hedged the claim by admitting “I could be wrong.”

Critics have argued that a Musk takeover will cause the platform to be more prone to spreading misinformation and incentivize or encourage dangerous practices that will harm women and people of color on the platform, The Hill reported. Angelo Carusone, president of left-wing media watchdog Media Matters, compared Musk’s attempted acquisition to the formation of Fox News, an organization he characterized as having a “distorting effect” on U.S. media, in an interview with The Hill.

“Elon Musk is about to rip open Pandora’s box and flood the internet once again with hate, misogyny, racism and conspiracy theories,” said Bridget Todd, communications director of feminist advocacy organization UltraViolet in an Oct. 4 statement. “We should all be terrified.”

Musk Plans To End Lifetime Twitter Bans: REPORT

Musk intends to end the practice of permanently banning users from the platform, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Musk, whose monthslong bid to buy Twitter involved several attempts to escape a deal first brokered in April, apparently does not believe in permanently banning users for their speech, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter. People who had previously been banned, such as former U.S. President Donald Trump, might be allowed to return under this new policy.

The report comes one day after Musk promised advertisers that, despite his commitment to turn Twitter into a “digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner,” that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape,” in a Thursday morning tweet. Twitter would attempt to show ads that are as targeted as possible to users, since the more relevant the ad is, the more engaging it becomes, Musk said.

“Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world,” said Musk Thursday. Some advertisers are reportedly planning to suspend advertising on the platform should Trump’s ban be reversed, according to The Wall Street Journal.

One Twitter user, who has over 853,000 followers at time of writing, alleged in a Thursday evening tweet that they remain “[s]hadowbanned, ghostbanned, searchbanned” on the platform, referring to a variety of alleged moderation techniques that surreptitiously reduce a user’s online presence, and that the platform was removing their followers. Musk promised in a Friday morning tweet that he was “digging in more today.”

Musk became the sole owner of the social media giant following the closure of a $44 billion takeover attempt that concluded on Thursday, with one of Musk’s first actions reportedly being to fire several top Twitter executives. At the moment, Musk has taken over as CEO, but may give the role up in the future, Bloomberg reported.

Twitter did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/JD Lasica
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7 thoughts on “Elon Musk takes over Twitter, fires executives, plans to end lifetime bans including Trump

  1. There are dangers to be aware of in completly unregulated speech as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes noted in a decision on the issue where he used the anology about the harm of falsely crying fire in a crowded theater.

    Elon Musk already has fallen into the trap of promoting damaging misinformation by retweeting an entirely bogus story from an irreputable source regarding the attack on Paul Pelosi and how the 82 year old was drunk and with a male prostitute at the time of the attack. There was absolutely no factual basis to this made up story, yet some, including Musk fell for it. Musk deleted his tweet a few hours after posting.

    • So you’ll have to get rid of every tabloid “newspaper” in the supermarket….they’ve been around for decades, no big outcry for that!

      You can yell fire in a movie theatre, if nobody gets hurt no crime committed. If people get hurt that’s a different story.

      We have almost COMPLETE censor ship of thought and ideas in Vermont. We have a cancel culture that is open and accepted, principals of schools lose their job for even suggesting that rioting and burning things might not help the cause.

      People lose careers over not believing the lies of the vaccine stops transmission, and the vaccine is 95% effective, the vaccine is safe…..

      We have to accept lies because most the news are full of lies. Its for us to discern the truth, but, but..

      Without open and free dialog, we cannot find the truth.

      Dictators LOVE getting rid of free speech. Choose your team, results seldom very, unlike stock picks…

      OH, and science is based up on the premise that we can test theories…..that are ALL wrong until we can prove which one is correct.

      What you propose is very scary…….

  2. The memes alone are worth every dime! Remains to be seen how the battlefield moves here, but seeing this playing out is entertaining. Elon is a top-notch troller and the echo of “reeeeeee” heard around the globe is music to my ears.

  3. I find it especially satisfying that a White African American bought the bird (twitter)
    and set it free from the (Dot) Indians who immigrated here and abused our 1st
    amendment rights. I truly hope the firings continue until all who abused the 1st are gone. I was banned for disparaging remarks on the potato head puppet biden which were the truth. Thanks Mr Musk you da man…

  4. Can he buy VT Digger, Front Porch Forum, 7 Days and VPR so Vermont can have free speech too?

    Buy 3 get one free?

    Please?

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