Tesla CEO Elon Musk has bought a large stake in Twitter, setting the stage for potential turbulence over the social media platform’s stance on free speech.
The billionaire bought 9.2% of the company, which is worth nearly $3bn (£2.3bn), according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Oh hi lol,” was his only tweet since the announcement, which sent shares on Twitter up more than 25%.
Mr Musk is one of Twitter’s most popular users, with more than 80 million followers. He is also particularly prolific, using his account to share memes as well as updates on his life and businesses.
These tweets, however, have caused problems for Mr. Musk in the past. In 2018, for example, he tweeted that Tesla would go private – beginning a period that saw him investigated by the SEC as well as losing his job as the company’s chairman.
In recent weeks, Mr. Musk has used his account to post on Twitter himself and the rules that govern it.
On March 24, he tweeted that he was “worried about the de facto bias in the ‘Twitter algorithm’ having a major effect on public discourse”, and shared a poll inviting his followers to vote on whether this algorithm should be open source.
A day later, he tweeted that “free speech is essential to the functioning of a democracy”, and asked his followers if they thought “Twitter strictly adheres to this principle”. After 70.4% of respondents voted against it, he asked his followers “what should be done?”
Mr Musk bought his Twitter shares before these publications – documents filed with the SEC indicate that the purchase took place on March 14 – although they were only disclosed today.
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This notice was published: 2022-04-04 18:15:35