A newly released government filing revealed that Tesla CEO and Big Tech censorship critic Elon Musk reportedly becameTwitter’s biggest shareholder.
MuskAfter condemning Big Tech’s censorship, he has put his money where it is needed. The world’s richest man, worth $298 billion, according to Forbes, bought a massive share of Twitter stock. A Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated April 4 revealed that as of March 14, Musk now owns “73,486,938” shares totalling a sizable “9.2%” of Twitter’s stock. Financial Times reported Musk’s investment effectively made him Twitter’s “largest shareholder.”’ The platform’s shares soared “more than 24%” after Musk bought into the company, CNBC reported. The outlet noted that Musk’s investment is worth “$2.89 billion” based on Twitter’s closing price as of Friday.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives reportedly told CNBC that the purchase “‘could lead to some sort of buyout.’” He was not the only commentator to warn that Musk’s move may be a sign of things to come. LightShed Partners co-founder Rich Greenfield explained on the April 4 edition of CNBC’s Squawk box that Musk’s move “underscored for investors that Twitter can be acquired.” “Squawk Box” Co-Anchor Joe Kernen theorized Musk’s motivation: “He’s doing it because he wants to change the way that Twitter is being run right now in terms of censorship.”
Musk has been critical of Big Tech over its grip on online speech in the past.
Musk famously slammed Twitter for censoring political debate in recent weeks. Musk also considered starting his own tech company. Musk tweeted March 26, “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.” He restated his support for free speech by proclaiming in a tweet: “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.” He shared a poll to his followers in the same tweet: “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” An overwhelming majority 70.4 percent of users who responded to Musk’s poll answered: “No.”
An account on Twitter asked Musk in late March if he would “consider building a new social media platform” where “free speech and adhering to free speech is given top priority” and where “ propaganda is very minimal.” Musk replied: “Am giving serious thought to this.” Vice President of Free Speech America and Business for the Media Research Center Dan Gainor praised the idea in a tweet: “Please do this, but be prepared for epic opposition from the left/NGOs and government. They fear free speech as we have truly witnessed the last two years especially.”
Musk has shown that he’s willing to defend free speech. amidst the war in Ukraine:
“Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We won’t do it unless we have to. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”
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