Billionaire Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk asked Twitter “What should be done?” in the fight to defend free speech from Big Tech censorship and suppression.
A hint of his answer was revealed on Monday when it was reported that Elon Musk had purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter worth nearly $3 billion. The details were provided by CNBC on Monday morning:
- Musk owns 73,486,938 shares of Twitter, which represents a 9.2% passive stake in the company, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission 13G filing released Monday.
- The stake is worth $2.89 billion, based Twitter’s closing price on Friday.
- The Musk buy comes less than two weeks after Musk criticized the company, polling people on Twitter about whether Twitter adheres to free speech principles.
CNBC’s business analysts believe that Musk’s move to buy the stake could lead to an eventual buyout, because “investors were bidding shares higher on the chance this could lead to something more.” Twitter shares had already surged more than 25% in the premarket — a sign that Musk’s buying of a stake inspired confidence in users and investors.
“Musk could try to take a more aggressive stance here on Twitter,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Monday told CNBC. “This eventually could lead to some sort of buyout.”
“This makes sense given what Musk has at least been talking about, at least from a social media perspective,” Ives said.
Elon Musk is now the social media giant’s largest stakeholder, according to the Financial Times. Musk’s action took place weeks after asking Twitter users about the state of the social media platform.
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk tweeted. “What should be done?”
Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.
What should be done? https://t.co/aPS9ycji37
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
He had polled users and found that over 70% believed that Twitter fails to adhere to free speech principles. Users regaled the Tesla CEO with their own experiences of Twitter suppression and censorship, including tweets on the 2020 election and the Covid pandemic.
The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
“The consequences of this poll will be important,” he added. “Please vote carefully.”
It turns out he wasn’t bluffing.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.