Elon Musk Buys Twitter, Immediately Fires CEO
Elon Musk has officially taken over Twitter.
Musk paid for the San Francisco-based social media company just one day before the deadline to complete the $44 billion deal or face a lengthy battle in court.
His first act was to fire several top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and the head of Twitter’s legal department, Vijaya Gadde. Agrawal and Segal were escorted out of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed.
Earlier, Musk posted footage of himself entering the Market Street office carrying a detached porcelain sink. The caption: “Let that sink in.”
Musk also posted a notice to Twitter advertisers both current and speculative, saying he doesn’t want the platform to become a “free-for-all-hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.”
This came after his threat to lay off 75% percent of Twitter’s workforce, a move that could affect thousands of employees. Musk promptly cancelled a virtual meeting he arranged to discuss the rumor with his new employees Thursday night. Having initially agreed to purchase the company last April, Musk attempted to weasel out of the deal in July, citing concerns about the number of bots on the platform, referring to the many false accounts frequently active in the replies to his tweets.
He pledged to “defeat the spam bots or die trying.”
Another concern raised by the acquisition is how it will affect social media in general. For some time, Twitter has served as the industry’s index for how to deal with controversial content. Twitter banning Trump after the January 6th Capitol riots remains his biggest consequence yet. With Musk in charge, even this may get overturned.
Meanwhile, many of Twitter’s advertisers have reportedly asked to withhold their ads if former president Donald Trump were to rejoin. Musk has made clear on multiple occasions he would overhaul Twitter’s content moderation policies to foster more of what he calls “free speech.”
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated,” he tweeted.
“The billionaire already owns, oversees or has significant stakes in companies developing cars, rockets, robots and satellite internet, as well as more experimental ventures such as brain implants,” wrote Donie O’Sullivan and Clare Duffy for CNN Business. “Now he controls a social media platform that shapes how hundreds of millions of people communicate and get their news.”
Musk has said he views Twitter as a launchpad for a new “super app” that that would offer anything from money transfers to online shopping and ride-hailing, potentially echoing the popular Chinese app WeChat.
“The long-term potential for Twitter in my view is an order of magnitude greater than its current value,” he added during a phone call with analysts from Tesla.
Hero to man-children with Daddy issues everywhere, Musk’s ability to act with impunity is their dream come true. He makes friends out of public enemies the same way mass shooters garner public sympathy.
“How does a billionaire like Musk come to attract a horde of ardent fans? Psychologists say that many of us fantasize about being billionaires, meaning that when they root for Musk, they’re really rooting for what they perceive as a version of themselves—namely, as masters of the universe, ‘winners’ in every sense that mainstream society deems worthy. In the process, they also reveal their own deep feelings of inadequacy.” —Matthew Rosza, Salon, April 29th, 2022.
That he rubs elbows with Donald Trump, Kanye West, Joe Rogan, and other insufferables lends Musk the illusion of “telling it like it is.” Fans idolize him, as evidenced by this response to a post on public forum, Quora: “Why does everyone love Elon Musk?”
“Obsessed? Are you kidding?! Why aren’t you?!
He is a personal hero because he is innovative, curious, educated, motivated, articulate, and funny. His Vision, and his companies, demonstrate many of the qualities making being human, human.”
—Content creator Sean Kinney
See also: Musk’s “Help” Not Wanted at Thai Cave Rescue; Billionaire Calls Recovery Diver a Pedophile
It’s no wonder he sympathizes with Trump. Having bought his Tesla fame and crashed a number of business ventures, he’s practically just like him. Some of Musk’s critics suspect a more sinister operative behind the tycoon’s public image. For Twitter employees, whether he is indeed a workplace psychopath remains to be seen.
It’s my belief that his latest acquisition is, boiled down, his newest attempt to stay relevant and above all, adored. Being born into a family of blood-diamond harvesters only to knock up Grimes and buy Twitter does not a “Visionary” make (yes, Kinney capitalized Musk’s “Vision” for the world).
But sure, let’s hear it for the mediocrity of self-entitled rich men while I ask once again why idiots with money (Elon Musk, Kanye West, Donald Trump) get to influence the world with their stupidities.