Musk has taken social media users on a wild ride – to buy Twitter or not to buy Twitter? The South African-born billionaire was willing to part with over R690 billion to make the platform his own, and in doing so, undo what he believes is the platform’s over-zealous content moderation.
Numerous critics claimed that Musk’s desire to promote free speech will only cultivate a platform that is littered with hate speech and misinformation. The hashtag #RIPTwitter quickly went viral, with many tweeps and celebs opting out of the platform.
Some Twitter users might have jumped ship too soon. Musk’s massive deal was put on ice when he discovered that a large part of the data provided to him about the platform was from bot accounts. He wanted to be sure that fake profiles actually account for less than 5% of the current recorded user base, as Twitter claimed.
Those on board with the idea of unpoliced speech (and allowing Donald Trump back on the platform) will be disappointed. Musk has pulled the plug.
Donald Trump will not be coming back to twitter.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) July 8, 2022
Musk said on Friday that he is not going to buy Twitter because the company breached multiple provisions of the merger agreement. According to his lawyer, Twitter was unable to account for the “less than 5%” sufficiently.
In addition, Musk wasn’t impressed with Twitter firing high-ranking executives and one-third of the talent acquisition team, which again breached the agreement that promised to “preserve substantially intact the material components of its current business organization”.
But is there more to Musk’s backtrack?
Ann Lipton, associate dean for faculty research at Tulane Law School, said that Twitter has grounds to argue that it provided Musk with enough data. She thinks Musk is looking for excuses and a fast way out. Twitter’s stock plummeted after Musk first announced that he was putting the purchase on hold. Or perhaps he needs extra cash for his secret twins?
Musk won’t necessarily walk away scot-free for pulling out of this deal. The contract states that he’ll have to pay Twitter a $1 billion break-up if he cannot complete the deal for reasons including lack of finance or regulators blocking the deal. But, Musk can keep his pocket change if he terminates the deal on his own.
Moving away from the big boys club, Twitter employees have expressed worry for their jobs on social media (memes included, of course).
Web analyst Daniel Ives, Wedbush, said that this is a disaster scenario for Twitter.
Picture: Elon Must / Twitter