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Elon Musk Giving “Serious Thought” To Creating Twitter Rival

In a Tweet on 26th March, the SpaceX and Tesla founder launched into a tirade against the social media platform for not allowing free speech. He wrote: “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?”

A day earlier, the billionaire had published a poll (again on Twitter), writing “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” At the time of publication, the poll had garnered 2,035,924 votes of which 70.4% were in the no camp.

Musk’s Tweets are already having to be scrutinised by Tesla’s lawyers after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) levelled a securities fraud charge against him in 2018. A press release from the SEC stated: “Musk tweeted on 7th August, 2018 that he could take Tesla private at $420 per share - a substantial premium to its trading price at the time - that funding for the transaction had been secured, and that the only remaining uncertainty was a shareholder vote.” He was forced to step down as Tesla’s Chairman and fined. In May 2020, Musk wiped $14 billion off Tesla's value by Tweeting “Tesla stock price is too high imo”. And then he was subpoenaed by the SEC last November after he Tweeted to ask his followers whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock. There have also been many spats and some totally bizarre tweets as well.

Despite the support from many of his followers for a Musk-run Twitter, TechCrunch is suggesting that Parag Agrawal has nothing to fear. It states: “This isn’t a free speech issue; it’s just Musk’s distaste for any form of regulation. It’s doubtful that Musk’s nearly 80 million followers would migrate over to his theoretical new platform, but even if they did, the SEC could still hold Musk accountable for whatever insider information he shares.”

It has been reported by BBC News that on 14th March, Musk bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter. This is worth $2.89bn and makes him one of the company's largest stakeholders.


Katie Scott, Brainz Magazine



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