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Elon Musk Officially Buys Twitter

The billionaire entrepreneur finally closes his deal to buy Twitter, marking a new era for the highly influential social media platform.
Elon Musk Officially Buys Twitter

On Thursday night, Mr. Musk closed his $44 billion deal to buy the social media service. He also began cleaning house, with at least four top Twitter executives — including the chief executive and chief financial officer — getting fired. Mr. Musk had arrived at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Wednesday and met with engineers and ad executives, reports the New York Times.

"There could be real-world consequences to his leadership," David Kaye, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, who worked with the United Nations on issues of free speech, said of Mr. Musk’s ownership of Twitter. "To the extent that world leaders see they have this space and it’s unmoderated, they could push to see how far they can go."

Elon Musk Completes $44 Billion Deal to Own Twitter (New York Times)

Excerpt from the New York Times: The closing of the deal, which followed months of drama and legal challenges as Mr. Musk changed his mind about buying the company, sets Twitter on an uncertain course. Mr. Musk, a self-described "free speech absolutist," has said that he wants to make the social media platform a more freewheeling place for all types of commentary and that he would "reverse the permanent ban" of former President Donald J. Trump from the service. Mr. Musk’s open approach to speech on Twitter could exacerbate long simmering issues of toxic content and misinformation, affecting political debates around the world. Early tests will come within days, when Brazil elects its president and American voters go to the polls on Nov. 8 for the midterm elections. 
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According to Politico, Elon Musk offered a glimpse into his plans for Twitter in an open letter to advertisers posted on the eve of his highly anticipated $44 billion acquisition of the social media site.

"In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all," and users should be able to "choose your desired experience according to your preferences," Musk said. The reason Musk bought the platform, he said in the statement, was to create "a common digital town square where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence."

Elon Musk says he won’t let Twitter become a 'free-for-all hellscape' (Politico)

Excerpt from Politico: In the letter posted to Twitter on Thursday, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said he does not want the site to become "a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences," an apparent rhetorical shift from Musk’s previous promise to change Twitter’s content moderation policies and make the site a bastion of "free speech." The statement came a day after Musk quelled rumors that he planned to fire 75 percent of Twitter’s staff. Musk also directly addressed advertisers, saying that advertising done right "can delight, entertain and inform you," while ads that are irrelevant to a user are "spam."
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Mr. Musk’s decision to go through with the Twitter takeover came two weeks before a trial in Delaware was set to begin over the stalled deal. The judge presiding over the legal clash agreed to pause the litigation, granting a request by Mr. Musk for more time to complete the takeover. The judge gave Mr. Musk until Oct. 28 to follow through with his offer, or said she would schedule a November trial, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Elon Musk Buys Twitter, Immediately Fires CEO and CFO (Wall Street Journal)

Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal: Mr. Musk offered in April to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share—higher than the company was valued at the time. In the months since the deal was struck, Twitter has faced efforts by Mr. Musk to abandon the deal, a whistleblower complaint in which Twitter’s former head of security accused the company of security and privacy problems, and unsuccessful talks to negotiate a lower price with Mr. Musk. The New York Stock Exchange has suspended Twitter shares from trading, starting Friday. The stock closed Thursday at $53.70. Mr. Musk’s takeover leaves big questions over the future of the platform, including how he might revamp its business model and how he might implement changes he has proposed for the way it polices content.
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