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Observers fret Elon Musk buyout could turn Twitter into ‘supercharged engine of radicalisation’

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The news that Elon Musk has reprised his original $44bn offer to purchase Twitter has sent shock waves through Silicon Valley, Wall Street and, in fact, sparking plenty of dialogue on the app itself.

A very powerful audience for the move, Twitter Inc, met the announcement with little fanfare, merely confirming it had been received and describing how the “intention” of the social network is to undergo with the deal.

“We received the letter from the Musk parties which they’ve filed with the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission],” Twitter said in an announcement on Tuesday “The intention of the Company is to shut the transaction at $54.20 per share.”

Mr Musk himself didn’t exactly trumpet the takeover either, as an alternative describing it as a method to perform the creation of something called “X”, which he describes as an “the whole lot app”.

“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the the whole lot app,” Mr Musk tweeted after the buyout bid became public.

Elsewhere, few observers were pleased to learn that the mercurial billionaire was once more nearing completion for his takeover of the influential media platform. Many nervous he would empower right-wing forces on the location.

Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, a nonprofit media watchdog, said Mr Musk’s post-purchase plans for Twitter would turn the location right into a “supercharged engine of radicalisation”, given the Telsa billionaire’s public comments and leaked text messages about loosening speech restrictions on the location and potentially bringing back the previous president.

“Musk made it clear that he would roll back Twitters’ community standards and safety guidelines, reinstate Donald Trump together with scores of other accounts suspended for violence and abuse, and open the floodgates of disinformation,” Mr Carusone said. “In effect, Musk will turn Twitter right into a fever swamp of dangerous conspiracy theories, partisan chicanery, and operationalized harassment.”

“With reports that Musk is now on the cusp of acquiring Twitter, the platform will turn into a supercharged engine of radicalization if he follows through with even a fraction of what he has promised.

(Getty Images)

“This isn’t alarmism, that is fact. Musk made it clear that he would roll back Twitters’ community standards and safety guidelines, reinstate Donald Trump together with scores of other accounts suspended for violence and abuse, and open the floodgates of disinformation. In effect, Musk will turn Twitter right into a fever swamp of dangerous conspiracy theories, partisan chicanery, and operationalized harassment.

Other media commentators agreed.

“Take a great go searching Twitter,” reporter Mike Freeman wrote in response to the news. “If you happen to think the racists, trolls and trash bag humans are out in force now, wait until Musk runs it. It’s gonna be unrecognisable. Most of us are going to move to the escape pods.”

A unique sort of right-wing influence on the platform dismayed others.

“It’s each reasonable and vital to ask where the cash for this purchase (if it indeed happens) will come from and who can be behind Musk with ownership,” Recent York University media professor Daniel Gilmore wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

The takeover is heavily reliant on debt financing, and Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, who owns a virtually $2bn stake in Twitter, supports Mr Musk’s move to purchase the corporate.

Parag Agrawal, CEO of Twitter, walks to a morning session in the course of the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 07, 2022 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

(Getty Images)

From a business perspective, many experts thought the Tesla billionaire had backed himself right into a corner and was facing a serious trial in Delaware after Twitter sued in July to force through the deal, so complying with the unique buyout terms was the one sensible option.

“He was staring down the business end of what was likely going to be a really unpleasant deposition,” Columbia University law professor Eric Talley told The Verge. “It was going to incorporate plenty of things that, let’s just say, charitably, were extremely inconsistent statements that he had made.”

“It is a clear sign that Musk recognized heading into Delaware Court that the possibilities of winning versus Twitter board was highly unlikely,” Dan Ives, senior equity research analyst with Wedbush Securities, said in a research note. “This $44 billion deal was going to be accomplished a method or one other.”

Many were struck by the final result, where Mr Musk looks like he can be liable for a globally vital platform he’s shown deeply ambivalent feelings about being an element of.

The dramatic nature of the takeover suggest to some a contempt for the actual users and creators of Twitter. Employees on the social network reportedly discovered about Mr Musk’s renewed takeover offer 45 minutes right into a three-hour meeting to plan their 2023 strategy.

“Neither Musk nor Twitter’s current management appear to care much about Twitter’s users or employees,” reporter Judd Legum argued on Tuesday on Twitter.

Still, some were excited by the prospect of Mr Musk returning to the fold at Twitter. Twitter stock soared after the offer news became public.

And a few inside Mr Musk’s diehard community of online fans, conservative admirers, and finance types celebrated the news.

“Elon Musk is playing 3D chess!…Great news for #Dogecoin,” crypto YouTuber Marr Wallace wrote on Tuesday.

America First Report editor JD Rucker wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Bad news: The approaching weeks of our news feed crammed with Tweets about what Musk will do, how this changes Big Tech, who’s getting fired, who’s getting their account reinstated, and about one million feature recommendations sent to Musk.”

Finance blogger Eddy Elfenbein was one other fan of the move, writing on Tuesday that “Elon Musk is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.”

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