Elon Musk jettisons Twitter leadership, says takeover was 'to try to help humanity'

Chief twit celebrates closing deal with characteristic humility

Comment Famed cave rescue expert Elon Musk has realized his dreams and completed the acquisition of influential social media platform Twitter.

Following the closing of the $44 billion deal yesterday, the electric car enthusiast posted a statement on the microblogging website which claimed in all seriousness that he was executing the takeover "to try to help humanity, whom I love."

The Register does not know how well acquainted Musk is with humanity, but we are quite prepared to introduce him to humility, whose influence seems to be markedly absent.

The missive adds that the co-founder of PayPal decided to acquire Twitter "because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common town square of where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence."

Musk, who has the whiff of a man satisfied by the smell of his own farts, has made it clear he intends to reinstate Donald Trump, the twice impeached former US president permanently suspended from Twitter for risk of further incitement of violence after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Trump has now been issued a subpoena to appear before the House January 6 select committee, such that he should offer an accounting of any foreknowledge of the Capitol attack and his broader efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

In May, Tesla chief executive Musk told a Financial Times conference it was not correct to ban Trump from Twitter. "I think that was a mistake. It alienated the country and did not result in Donald Trump not having a voice. I think it was a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme."

Among Musk's first moves upon taking the helm at Twitter was to fire Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal policy, trust and safety, who took the decision to ban Trump. Also axed were chief executive Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal, according to Reuters.

Agrawal, for one, is reportedly set to take more than $40 million in severance.

Quite apart from the thorny political issues surrounding social media platforms and the concept of free speech versus the right to be free from incitement of hatred, prejudice and violence – and advertisers do not want their ads next to tweets about any of that, which is something for the Tesla tycoon to think about – there is the question of what Musk plans to do with Twitter as a business.

He has boasted that Twitter's valuation could be an order of magnitude greater than its current dollar status. Twitter's share price has collapsed since Musk first made his offer, leading some to argue the business genius is overpaying for the platform. Indeed, Musk himself set out on a court battle to try to pull out of the $44 billion deal.

Vague allusions to a "superapp" and "everything platform" have so far left analysts unimpressed and wanting to see more details.

For a man yet to fulfill his promises of brain-computer interfaces, autonomous humanoid robots, and self-driving cars, Musk needs to come up with something more concrete for Twitter. To take him at his word, humanity itself is at stake. ®

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