Elon Musk's Twitter: Freedom Sanctuary or Fake News?
The businessman, the richest in the world, has set his sights on Twitter for his purchase, but what implications would this have? .
Photo: FILE/Christophe Gateau/dpa
LatinAmerican Post |Luis Angel Hernández Liborio
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Leer en español: El Twitter de Elon Musk: ¿Santuario de Libertad o de Fake News?
Elon Musk is known for taking matters that interest him head-on, he is not very patient, if he wants something he hopes it will be the way he wants it. If it does not exist, he looks for a way to make it a reality, with that thought he has promoted his companies and has amassed his fortune. The companies SpaceX and Tesla are good examples of this. Now, the businessman has set his sights on Twitter , a social network that he has actively criticized for years and in which he began to invest last April, now he is going for more, for the whole of this company. The news has caused a stir in terms of business, but also because of the implications it could bring, Musk's fame is not free.
An offer that makes Twitter consider it
Twitter is a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), this has allowed it to capitalize through the sale of its shares. Like any other company that is listed on the stock exchange, it has locks that prevent any shareholder from arbitrarily taking over the majority (or all) of its shares and with this total control of the company. In early April, Elon Musk acquired 9.2% of Twitter shares for $3.7 billion, becoming the company's main shareholder along with Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal in association with Kingdom Holding Company of the same nationality. Now Musk has taken a second step, as he posted on his Twitter account that he had made an offer for all of the company's shares for $54.2 dollars per share, according to the document sent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) , which would equate to more than $43 billion, an offer that would make the company at least consider it.
I made an offer https://t.co/VvreuPMeLu— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
In his offer, he also included two relevant points: the first is that his offer is final, making it clear that he will not negotiate changes, the second point is that if he did not accept his purchase offer, he would evaluate his investment in Twitter, a hostile offer, something that would affect the company at least in the short term with the value of its shares. Musk's offer exceeds the current value of Twitter shares, which is $46.3 with a capitalization value of $36 billion dollars, consulted on Market Watch. Even so, from now on, one of his main partners, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has rejected the offer on the grounds that the company is worth more for its growth, in addition to avoiding the control to which Musk aspires, whose current assets are $249 $1 billion , according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Why does Musk want to own Twitter?
The South African has been critical of Twitter through the same platform, although he disagrees with some of its policies, he is both one of the most active and enthusiastic users, so much so that he plans to buy it. Beyond the business reasons, Musk is interested in acquiring Twitter to try, from his point of view, to become a free network, where freedom of expression is guaranteed. To validate his criticism, he usually resorts to polls in which he asks his followers if they agree with him on different issues related to the platform, usually the followers vote in favor of Musk's position. It is difficult to label Musk on a political spectrum, his support for Republican and Democratic politicians is well known, as well as his stances in favor of the environment, social democracy, internet safety and freedom of expression. The problem with the businessman is that his passion for these issues has led him to share information that is not always true, an inappropriate background to control a social network.
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
His criticisms can be found on the social network, an example is this tweet in which he criticizes the "waste" of resources in developing the use of NFT images for profiles, instead of improving their security levels on fraud and cryptocurrency issues. . It is clear that taking over the company would focus development efforts on strategic points such as security, but at the same time in that search for freedom of expression, at least from its conception , it could once again give way to characters like Donald Trump, banned from Twitter since the riots at the capitol by his followers at the shutdown of his government.
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The mirage of a "free" Twitter
It is definitely interesting that one of the most important businessmen in the world is interested in one of the most used social networks, his utopia of a more "free" Twitter is attractive. If he goes after the bots, which he has always criticized, or if he improves the locks to ensure that someone is not being censored under the pretext of avoiding false information, he could bring Twitter back to the fore, since it is in decline in terms of the number of users. However, Musk is also known for his visceral and erratic decisions that have gotten him into trouble on many occasions, for example in Tesla, his opinions and statements have affected the value of his shares . In 2018, he had problems with the SEC for statements that affected the stock market and that put the institution on alert. Perhaps a better option for Elon Musk is to create a social network of his own, an idea that former President Donald Trump embraced with the creation of Truth Social, a rival network to Twitter that has so far failed.