Elon Musk said in a statement, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.” He added that he wants to defeat spam bots, authenticate all humans, and add new features.
The Tesla CEO has said he wanted to own and privatize Twitter because he thinks it’s not living up to its potential as a platform for free speech.
The deal was cemented roughly two weeks after the billionaire first revealed a 9 percent stake in the platform. Musk said last week that he had lined up US$46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter, putting pressure on the company’s board to negotiate a deal.
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Twitter said the transaction was unanimously approved by its board of directors and is expected to close in 2022, pending regulatory sign-off and the approval of shareholders.
Elon’s new approach to content moderation, or lack thereof – has many users concerned that the platform will become more of a haven for disinformation, hate speech and bullying, something it has worked hard in recent years to mitigate. Wall Street analysts said if he goes too far, it could also alienate advertisers.