In a dramatic turn of events, Twitter on Monday agreed to be acquired by Elon Musk for around $44 billion in cash. Twitter will become a private company once the deal is complete, the company said in a press release.
Many conservatives were elated when Musk outlined his free speech-first vision for Twitter at the TED2022 conference earlier this month, saying he believes Twitter should not regulate content beyond what is required by the laws of the countries it operates in, Axios reported.
Not everyone is giddy, including former President Donald Trump.
In January 2021, Musk had tweeted: "A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech."
In the buildup to his takeover of Twitter, Musk had expressed concern about bias being inherent to Twitter's algorithm — which he said he'd solve with an open-source algorithm.
"An open-source algorithm would make publicly available the calculus which determines what appears on a person's Twitter feed," Axios noted.
However, former President Trump will not return to Twitter, even if Elon Musk reinstates his account, he told Fox News. Instead he will be using his own TRUTH Social as the sole platform for his voice.
Prof. David Clements cautioned conservatives about getting too excited over the Musk takeover of Twitter.
"Elon Musk's imminent takeover of Twitter is curious," Clements said in a Telegram post.
"Twitter is a dying brand on life support. Truth Social is emerging. I see folks saying that if 'Trump is reinstated,' they will 'go back.' "
Clements continued: "Musk is a globalist. A very clever globalist. His fortune has skyrocketed by positioning himself in the midst of progressive movements, while giving lip service against those movements. Take the 'Green New Deal.' Who has benefited in the craze to convert everything to electric, getting tax subsidies, carbon tax offsets, all valued in billions of dollars, on the backs of 'We the People?' That would be Elon Musk's Tesla. Space X. Same thing."
Now, Clements added, Musk is "conveniently emerging as a champion amongst America First conservatives for free speech? Is it that easy to fool folks? .... Wise up. Musk is the richest man in the world. That tells me all I need to know. He's part of the club."
Clements continued: "Another thought. He's for universal basic income. That's what the godless commies were for. Just enough money for the servant class to get by to provide labor for the ruling elite."
In his effort to defeat "spam bots" on Twitter, Musk has vowed to "authenticate all real humans" under his ownership of the platform. Sound familiar? China also requires authentication in order to use its social media platforms.
Axios noted: "It's easier to advocate broad policy change from the outside of a company like Twitter than to enact it from within. It's also worth remembering that Musk has been a mercurial tweeter, and his plans could easily change."
It's exciting that a human who advocates for transhumanism will be in control of one of the largest communication platforms of our time and be able to monitor our interactions & emotions using AI technology.Not exciting for us. But definitely exciting for him. — Just.A.Thought 💭 (@e_galv) April 25, 2022
The Wall Street Journal noted on Monday that Twitter "had been expected to rebuff" Musk's offer, which "Musk made April 14 without saying how he would pay for it, and put in place a so-called poison pill to block him from increasing his stake. But after the Tesla Inc. chief disclosed that he has $46.5 billion in financing and the stock market swooned, Twitter changed its posture and opened the door to negotiations."
The turnabout on Twitter’s part came "after Musk met privately Friday with several shareholders of the company to extol the virtues of his proposal while repeating that the board has a 'yes-or-no' decision to make, according to people familiar with the matter. He also pledged to solve the free-speech issues he sees as plaguing the platform and the country more broadly, whether his bid succeeds or not, they said," the Journal reported.