The soap opera between the dazzling tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and Twitter now seems to have reached its climax. After months of back and forth, the Tesla boss has finally bought the short message service. After the first hours of existence as the new Twitter CEO, he has directly made a few examples and dismissed the company’s management positions. This includes former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal himself.
Firings by Elon Musk as a symbol of the takeover
Officially, the takeover of Twitter became when the short message service on Friday, October 28, 2022, revealed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission its withdrawal from the stock market. But already on Thursday, it could be noticed by three weighty dismissals that Elon Musk is calling the shots at Twitter from now on. In addition to the now former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal himself, the previous chief financial officer Ned Segal was also fired. The dismissal of Vijaya Gadde was also highly symbolic.
The manager was responsible for the area of hate speech and fake news at Twitter and, in the view of Elon Musk, always did her job exceedingly badly. Internal sources cited by the New York Times indicate that Musk even had one of the top executives escorted out of the building. That this could be just the beginning is made clear by statements Musk made a few days ago when he let it be known that he wants to lay off 75 percent of Twitter’s workforce.
Is Twitter becoming a rallying point for radicals?
The fact that politicians stood idly by in the cat-and-mouse game that Twitter and Musk have been playing in recent months has not gone down well with many. Net activists in particular are extremely critical of the takeover by the tech visionary, who has attracted attention on more than one occasion in the past with dubious statements on freedom of expression. With his tweet “the bird is freed”, the Tesla boss seems to make it clear in which role he now sees himself. It is he who now wants to “finally” ensure freedom of expression on Twitter. What that is supposed to mean in detail, one cannot yet imagine. However, it should mean that people like Donald Trump could regain their accounts on the short message service.
This means that the partly inhuman and conspiracy-theoretical content of many questionable Twitter users could find its way back into the service. Twitter had only removed these from the network as part of numerous deletions. To what extent Trump is interested in a return is still questionable at the moment. Although he has created his own Twitter alternative with Truth Social, it is currently in a financial mess. Since Twitter, under the leadership of Elon Musk, now also wants to offer space for conspiracy theorists and so-called “gossipers” again, in order to do justice to freedom of speech, one of Truth Social’s unique selling points falls away. This is unlikely to please Donald Trump, who always believed in the future of his Twitter alternative.
A real love-hate relationship between Twitter and Elon Musk
A lot has happened since Elon Musk expressed his desire to buy Twitter at a price of almost 44 billion US dollars in April this year. For example, the tech billionaire put his plans on hold in the meantime. As a reason, the entrepreneur stated that the short message service was making false statements about the proportion of fake accounts. This even led to him saying in July that the takeover was off. After Twitter threatened legal action, Musk decided to buy the social network after all. At first glance, he seems to be taking his new role as Twitter CEO seriously. After all, he wanted to personally introduce himself to the staff right away on Friday, October 28, 2022.
How this meeting will turn out is likely to be eagerly awaited by many. After all, some bad words have been spoken during the ups and downs between Twitter and Musk. In view of the friction, many no longer even assumed that a purchase could take place. However, it is expected with even more excitement how Twitter will develop in the coming months. Since the media echo expects negative things from the development after the takeover, some advertising partners are likely to jump away for the time being. In view of the fact that it is precisely advertising that currently finances the short message service, this is likely to weigh heavily.