This time, we only had one event that really surprised us last week. Maybe even not the event itself, but the reaction it caused and the changes that will happen.
The world’s richest person, Elon Musk, secured a deal on April 25, agreeing to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share — valuing the firm at roughly $44 billion.
Musk has said that part of the reason he wanted to own Twitter is that, in his mind, the changes that need to be made to the platform can only be done if it’s a private company.
Musk shares this sentiment with Twitter co-founder and ex-CEO Jack Dorsey, who tweeted on Monday that the company “has been owned by Wall Street and the ad model.” Dorsey said that going private “is the correct first step.”
"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," said Mr. Musk. "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spambots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
The public reaction was not clear-cut. As Elon Musk’s Tesla company was sued over alleged racial discrimination, he has been criticized often and has lost his “image” of a progressive guy.
Let’s have a look at what public figures have said after Twitter was sold to Musk:
Ah he got twitter. I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet. Just really *any* excuse to show pics of Barold. I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny. Best of luck. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/fBDOuEYI3e— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) April 25, 2022
Activist and author Amy Siskind had a similar reaction to the acquisition. "I am sitting with my thoughts and watching and haven't decided if I am staying here. I have a huge philosophical issue knowing whatever content I provide here goes directly towards enriching one man, who I think is absolutely awful. Watching. His platform is hemorrhaging users," she tweeted on Monday.
I am sitting with my thoughts and watching, and haven’t decided if I am staying here. I have a huge philosophical issue knowing whatever content I provide here goes directly towards enriching one man, who I think is absolutely awful. Watching. His platform is hemorrhaging users.— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) April 25, 2022
Ice Cube, who claimed he got "shadow banned," a partial suspension during which an account exists but is not visible in search or feeds, rejoiced at the news. "Free at last! @elonmusk take off my shadow ban homie," he tweeted.
A friend sent me this. They found it on Facebook. No idea who made it. So that's fun 😅 pic.twitter.com/uzRTOQO8Gf— Eeeeeevieeee, Pronoun Pussy Popper (@CaptAmazo) April 26, 2022
Suspended accounts coming back after Twitter takeover by Elon Musk pic.twitter.com/yCYN1l6DjF— MB 💫 (@MadridBaIIers) April 25, 2022
Can someone just tell me if I’m rich or fired please— Ned Miles (@nedmiles) April 25, 2022
Elon Musk to all those who don’t like him on this app after buying twitter pic.twitter.com/fzj5x00V90— Kojo Darko🇬🇭 (@Joeybneba) April 25, 2022
men will literally spend $44 billion to get the attention of grimes instead of going to therapy— Sydney Leathers (@sydneyelainexo) April 25, 2022
Where will the new Twitter owner take us? We’ll see pretty soon. But what we hope for is that there will be at least one social network showing that freedom of speech does exist and that it is what humankind really needs.