The billionaire has formalized in his own way the acquisition of the social network for $44 billion.
There was no press release.
But just a tweet and not just any tweet. A tweet of four words, which seem to have been carefully chosen.
Elon Musk seems to want to mark the occasion. The billionaire CEO of Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report formalized in his own way the finalization of the acquisition of Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Report on October 27 after a six-month saga.
He seems to want to remember this moment when he entered the world of social networks. He seems to want the rest of the world to remember it too, his detractors as well as his fans.
“The bird is freed,” Musk posted just before Midnight ET.
The metaphor is interesting. The bird is Twitter’s logo, a blue bird to be precise. The image chosen by Musk wants to send a clear message: there was too much police on Twitter, and it’s also time to unleash the potential of the social network.
One of Musk’s big complaints about Twitter is that the tweet inhibits the expression of all opinions.
Top Executives Are Fired
And symbolically, one of the first decisions he made was to fire CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, as well as Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal, policy and trust, a source told TheStreet.
Gadde was in the line of fire as she oversaw Twitter’s content policy. And it is her team who would have recommended, according to the press, the suspension of the account of former President Donald Trump after the events of January 6, 2021 on Capitol Hill.
Musk was particularly critical of the move and said he will reinstate Trump once he becomes the owner. Overall, the billionaire feels that all opinions are welcome as long as they don’t break the law. But he somewhat toned down his position on October 27.
“Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” he wrote to advertisers. “In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”
Victory of Free Speech?
The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, however, raises fears of a return of racist, discriminatory and bullying posts on the social network after many months of efforts to purge the platform of all this.
His celebratory tweet will not allay those fears.
The congratulations of his fans were numerous. The tweet had already received nearly 300,000 likes in 45 minutes. Much of the comments were celebrating, as Musk seemed to suggest himself, “a big victory for free speech.”
“This makes me so happy. It’s a great day for freedom,” commented actor Matthew Marsden.
“You acquiring Twitter is a big win for free speech,” added another Twitter user.
“Has the resurrection begun? We want our friends back,” said one user.
“Finally, I can now say whatever I want!” quipped another Twitter user.
Musk will take Twitter private on October 28, which will allow him to transform the platform outside the pressure of markets and market regulators.
It is nevertheless a bitter victory on the financial level. Twitter is costing him far too much. It pays $54.20 per Twitter share. The stock’s price, which has risen since he resubmitted his offer on Oct. 4 after a legal battle with Twitter, closed Oct. 27 at $53.70, well below the price offered by the tech tycoon.