Elon Musk struck a deal on Monday to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion, according to The New York Times. Twitter agreed to sell itself to Mr. Musk for $54.20 a share, a 38 percent premium over the company’s share price this month before he revealed he was the firm’s single largest shareholder. Musk has said that he plans to take the company private.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement. He said he wanted “to make Twitter better than ever.”
Before the deal was closed, Musk tweeted, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.” It’s noteworthy that Musk has a history of trying to shut down, silence or punish anyone who goes public with criticism of a his projects or practices (Fortune has a lengthy report on that). Musk has also blocked people on Twitter, including 19-year old Jack Sweeny, who created a Twitter bot that tracks Musk’s Gulfstream private jet and posts real-time updates of its location from publicly available data.
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
Check out how some Twitter users are responding.