Musk gets Twitter for $44bn; free speech promised

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, clinched a deal to buy Twitter Inc for $44 billion cash on Monday in a transaction that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world's richest person, a Reuters report said.


It is a seminal moment for the 16-year-old company, which emerged as one of the world's most influential public squares and now faces a string of challenges.


Musk negotiated to buy Twitter in a personal capacity and Tesla is not involved in the deal.


Musk, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, has criticised Twitter's moderation. He wants Twitter's algorithm for prioritising tweets to be public and objects to giving too much power on the service to corporations that advertise.


Political activists expect that a Musk regime will mean less moderation and reinstatement of banned individuals including former President Donald Trump. 


Conservatives cheered the prospect of fewer controls while some human rights activists voiced fears of a rise in hate speech. 


Musk has also advocated user-friendly tweaks to the service, such as an edit button and defeating "spam bots" that send overwhelming amounts of unwanted tweets.


Under pressure, Twitter started negotiating with Musk to buy the company at his proposed $54.20 per share price. 


"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," Musk said in a statement.




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