Is a Twitter takeover in the works? Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently purchased a 9% stake in Twitter to become its largest shareholder. This happened days after the billionaire asked his followers if Twitter adheres to free speech.
Musk Now Largest Shareholder, Is Twitter Takeover Imminent?
A regulatory filing made last Monday disclosed that Elon Musk bought 73.5 million shares of Twitter last Friday worth $2.9 billion.
This meant that as of today, Musk is the company’s largest shareholder at 9.2%. Incidentally, Musk also boasts a large following on the social media platform. He has over 80 million followers hanging on to his posts.
Meanwhile, the reason for Musk’s purchase of Twitter remains unclear. Officially, the filing said that Musk is a long-term investor looking to minimize his buying and selling of shares.
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A long-term majority hold likely means Musk wants to actively participate in setting Twitter’s direction. Many are speculating a Twitter takeover, with Musk assuming the leadership role.
Recent Survey On Twitter Free Speech
A few days ago, Musk asked his followers whether Twitter adheres to the ideals of free speech.
He uploaded a tweet with a poll and the following caption: “Freedom of expression is essential for a functioning democracy. Do you think Twitter strictly adheres to that principle?”. He added a warning that respondents should vote carefully. Consequences may happen from the results.
More than two million followers answered the survey. A majority of respondents 70.4% said No, Twitter does not adhere to freedom of expression.
Musk then followed up his survey with two additional messages. The first one was about Twitter itself.
“Since Twitter functions as the de facto public square, not adhering to the principles of freedom of expression fundamentally undermines democracy”. The other message sought to ask if people want more than Twitter: “Is a new platform necessary?”
Speculation Goes High That Passive Stock Can Lead To Board Seat
Musk also considered starting another social media network. But his move to acquire 9.2% of Twitter means a move in another direction: a Twitter takeover.
Having enough shares will at least ensure Musk a seat on the board. If he wants to, he can always ask for the CEO position as well.
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His experience manning companies such as Tesla, SpaceX, and others give him enough clout. Either way, analysts believe that Musk won’t remain in the shadows for too long.
Meanwhile, investors couldn’t be happier with the development. Yesterday, the Twitter stock surged by 27.13% as people anticipated interesting times ahead on the social platform.
In fact, Wedbush’s Dan Ives agrees that the 9.2% passive stake can lead to bigger things. “We would expect this passive stake as just the start of broader conversations with the Twitter board/management,” he said.
This could eventually “lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter,” he said.
Twitter Founder and Former CEO Jack Dorsey Regrets His Role
Meanwhile, former CEO and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey expressed regret for his role in centralizing the internet.
He admitted his role in creating platforms and companies that centralized information. “I realize I’m partially to blame, and regret it,” he posted.
In addition, Dorsey said that he missed the early days of the internet where discussion boards and Usenet groups were endless.
“The days of Usenet, IRC, the web… even email (with PGP)… were amazing,” Dorsey tweeted. “Centralizing discovery and identity into corporations really damaged the internet,” he added.
Watch the Fox Business video reporting that Elon Musk takes a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter:
Do you support the idea of Elon Musk staging a Twitter takeover? Also, will his leadership make Twitter a better social media platform compared to what it is now?
Tell us what you think of Musk’s increased participation in social media. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.