NEW DELHI: Micro-blogging website Twitter’s board on Monday surprised the world as it accepted the billionaire Elon Musk’s offer to buy the social media company, ending a week-long saga that oscillated between “$54.20 per share” to a poison pill.
With this announcement, Twitter board has ratified a deal that almost places it as one of the biggest-ever buyouts of a listed company and making it a private firm under world’s richest man.
Hours later, Musk on Twitter shared a post that said, “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”, clocking 25,000 RTs and more than 1,42,000 likes — one of the quickest to reach this figure.
He had earlier remarked, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means”.
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
Musk had launched a bevy of acerbic barbs at Twitter’s management as there attempts to hole up his offer even as he turned down an opportunity to join the company’s board.
The Tesla Inc chief is also believed to have pulled out partners for this mega acquisition.
Musk has been saying that he would enforce rapid and broad changes on Twitter , making it a level playing field of free speech and has dropped broad hints including allowing audience to edit tweets, while making the algorithm open source and stamping out anonymous bots.
Several Indians on Twitter reacted to this announcement by Musk.
An Uttarakhand-based chartered accountant Alok Bhatt, remarked, “Dear @elonmusk , if possible, pls buy @nytimes after this – that will be a huge service to the media in general and print media industry in particular!”
— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) April 25, 2022
Twitter CEO Parag Aggarwal, an Indian-origin honcho, was cautious in his first comments where he avoided a direct reference to Musk, “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”
It’s still debatable whether Twitter uses or has been using algorithm to suit an ideology or work in favour of those who function as a clique to endorse a particular ideology but the Indian government in the past had accused Twitter of open bias, especially after it tagged photo tweets of some people as manipulated media during last summer in the middle of COVID outbreak.
— Rubika Liyaquat (@RubikaLiyaquat) April 26, 2022
It was the first instance of Twitter using the labelling policy on an Indian political account that of ruling BJP’s Amit Malviya and Sambit Patra as manipulated media.
Congress had registered FIRs against several for allegedly fabricating the document and accusing them of using fake documents
Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains as one of the 10 most followed Twitter accounts while principal Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi also enjoys a significant following.