Tesla CEO and tech business mogul Elon Musk now owns 9.2% of Twitter shares, according to a recent schedule 13G filing released by the SEC.
Bloomberg states this purchase was worth around $2.89 billion and Twitter’s value in the stock market went up 27% on Monday, April 4. Naturally, this begs the question, why did Musk make this seemingly random purchase -- and what does it do for the platform and its users at large?
Musk has yet to publicly state his reasoning for the investment, but looking at his recent Tweets and his history on Twitter may point to his intentions. After all, Elon Musk is one of the most followed accounts on the platform and has even gotten into trouble because of his behavior there (opens in new tab).
Was it planned?
A little over a week ago, Musk posted a poll on his account where he asked followers and users if Twitter adheres to the concept of free speech; over 70% of respondents said ‘No.’ This poll doesn’t appear to have influenced his decision as he had already filed for the purchase on March 14.
The day after that poll, the SpaceX founder stated that since Twitter is the “de facto public town square,’ its supposed failure to advocate free speech “undermines democracy.” He even pondered the need for another Twitter-like platform, which has been attempted in the past. But few can match up against the likes of this social media behemoth.
Musk is no stranger to criticizing the site, like the time he blasted Twitter for spending time and energy enabling NFT profile pictures. He also posted a meme that depicted Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal as Joseph Stalin getting rid of a dissident in the form of former CEO Jack Dorsey.
Vocal criticism aside, that still leaves the question of what will happen to users unanswered.
A small piece
It’s not like Musk has total control over Twitter, but it’s difficult to believe that someone would buy almost 10% of one of the largest social media platforms in the world and do nothing with it. So far, neither Elon Musk nor Twitter have alluded to or pointed out any changes coming to the site.
In recent years, Twitter has been criticized for its content and how it polices itself. Some have said that Twitter doesn’t do enough to combat misinformation while others complain about censorship.
We’ve reached out to Elon Musk and Twitter for a comment and will update this post with their responses.