After starting and then backing out of a deal to buy Twitter, billionaire businessman Elon Musk said the deal is back in play on Tuesday at the original $44 billion offer price. Musk’s announcement quickly sent the media into a frenzy over what’s to come.
Twitter’s Investor Relations profile announced the update on Tuesday, tweeting, “Twitter issued this statement about today’s news: We received the letter from the Musk parties which they have filed with the SEC. The intention of the Company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share.”
About three hours later, Musk appeared to confirm the buyout plan and hinted at his plans for the social media app going forward.
“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” the SpaceX and Tesla CEO tweeted.
The left-wing blog site Occupy Democrats tweeted, “BREAKING: Right-wing billionaire Elon Musk announces that he will move forward with his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter so that he can ‘fix’ the website — which appears to mean letting the nazis, insurrectionists, and QAnon freaks run wild. RT IF YOU OPPOSE MUSK’S PLANS!”
The publication further encouraged Twitter users to move over to an alternative social media site called Tribel.
“Tribel.com is shaping up to be a suitable alternative to Twitter if and when Elon Musk buys Twitter,” Occupy Democrats tweeted. “You can download the new Tribel app here to start inviting and adding your friends as we prepare for the mass exodus: http://tribel.app.link/okwPIHYCIq. Tribel is anti-nazi!”
NBC “Dystopia Beat” reporter Ben Collins began a lengthy Twitter thread in which he raised concerns that Musk’s plans to buy Twitter could impact the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.
“For those of you asking: Yes, I do think this site can and will change pretty dramatically if Musk gets full control over it,” Collins began his thread. “No, there is no immediate replacement. If it gets done early enough, based on the people he’s aligned with, yes, it could actually affect midterms.”
“What does this look like in the short term?” Collins tweeted later on in the thread. “Abandonment of traditional moderation policies. Stuff like Pizzagate — pushed by bots and liars — will be protected. Disinfo campaigns will top trending topics and drive news cycles. Authoritarian governments will have a field day.”
“In the longterm, Musk’s plans for this website are a suicide bomb,” Collins continued. “Very few people want to use a moderation-free app saturated with lies by design. We know this from the dozens of Twitter clones who’ve tried and failed. But he seems deadset on taking bad advice from bad people.”
American Prospect and Washington Monthly contributor David Atkins also wrote a lengthy Twitter thread about the Twitter purchase.
“Musk buying twitter is really bad,” Atkins began. “Twitter is far from perfect, but it was also the most socially responsible of the major social media companies–both in terms of content moderation and dialing back its algorithms. With Musk all of that will be gone.”
“Musk will kill content moderation and give the nazis free rein,” Atkins continued. “But even worse, he will unleash the worst of the engagement algorithm for maximum profit, the way Facebook and Youtube do. It will become a hellhole where dumb provocative Ben Shapiro tweets dominate your feed.”
Journalist Glenn Greenwald pushed back on criticism’s that Musk’s Twitter buyout would mean the platform will manipulate search results to benefit some political narratives and harm others, saying the platform has already been doing that.
“Do liberals really not understand that this — ‘elevating any idea or person they want through recommendations and UX choices’ — is what Big Tech is already doing?” Greenwald tweeted. “Liberals are just happy about it because it’s now done to advance their interests and silence their adversaries.”
“The purported concern and even hysteria about Musk’s purchase and control of Twitter has always been driven by an obvious fear, totally different from the one they claim,” Greenwald added. “Liberals are petrified Musk will stop censoring their adversaries. That’s all there is to it.”
Popular Information journalist Judd Legum tweeted, “Neither Musk nor Twitter’s current management seem to care much about Twitter’s users or employees.”
Walter Shaub, the senior ethics fellow for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) tweeted, “If Musk destroys Twitter, we’ll all just go outside and see the sun more.”
Musk announced his return to the plans to buy Twitter the day after pitching his proposal to end the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine. Musk proposed throwing out pro-Russia referendum results in eastern Ukraine and doing them over under United Nations supervision, with the condition that Russia leaves if the vote doesn’t go it’s way and the condition that the Ukraine not cut off access to water flowing to the Russian-controlled territory of Crimea.
Musk’s peace proposal drew backlash from Ukrainian officials and pro-Ukrainian Twitter users. Some Twitter users accused Musk of siding with the Russians even after he freely provided his Starlink satellite internet service to Ukraine at the start of the war, helping them maintain lines of communication despite Russia’s attacks.
Journalist Michael Tracey appeared to joke that the Twitter backlash Musk received over his peace proposal prompted him to proceed with his Twitter buyout at the original price.
“That rabid tsunami of pro-Ukraine trolls is so annoying they convinced Elon Musk to say ‘fuck it’ and just buy Twitter at the original price,” Tracey tweeted.
The left-wing Palmer Report blog called on people opposed to Musk’s Twitter buy out to push back on the deal.
“No, Elon Musk has NOT bought Twitter,” Palmer report tweeted. “He’s agreed to terms. There are still procedural steps they’d have to get past. Now is the time to push back. Stop spreading inaccurate defeatist hyperbole. It tells everyone to give up, at a time we should be fighting harder than ever.”