Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter by force to “unleash its potential”

Elon Musk has formalized a hostile offer to buy 100% of Twitter shares for $54.20 each. He wants to take control of the company at all costs and is ready to pay an additional 40% per share of the value they had before the announcement of the purchase of 9.2% of the company a few years ago. weeks.

“I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the world, and I believe it has to be a social imperative for democracy to work,” he said. businessman to chairman of the Twitter Board. . “But since making my investment, I have realized that the company will never pursue or fulfill this social imperative by operating as it does today.”

It’s a hostile offersince Musk’s vision and goals are radically different from what the council has had so far.

Freedom or more moderation?

For Twitter, as for the rest of the American digital platforms, one of the big challenges is to moderate more content, and to do it faster. We have seen this in the face of the Russian invasion, since they were quick to block the Kremlin propaganda media and even many sympathetic or skeptical testimonies to information that comes from the Western media to misinform. Also during the COVID-19 pandemic, where anti-vaccine rhetoric was promoted on the internet, posing a public health risk.

But for Musk the problem of social networks, and Twitter, which is the only one he uses, is quite the opposite: censor, moderate or hide content that is not illegal and that, therefore, it violates freedom of expression, a fundamental right recognized in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The popular millionaire believes it is harmful for a business to decide what can be said and what cannot be said or what is true and what is not. This is a debate of particular importance after the case of Joe Rogan and his skeptical comments about certain mandates and the possible effects of vaccines.

Musk only had the hostile path left

We have to keep in mind that Twitter is a business, and as such it has the right to decide what content it wants to allow and what not according to its own criteria. You can censor whatever it deems to be most beneficial to your interests or those of your users. So far that’s no problem, but Twitter’s reach is global and almost unique: it’s where news first arrives and where much of the public opinion discourse is concentrated. From then on, Musk understands that he is a pillar of society, and that as such he must protect himself.

He defines himself as a “free speech absolutist”, and several media define him as a “radical”. The truth is that all these epithets are nonsense: either there is freedom of expression or there is not.. There is no notion of great or small freedom of expression, and it only exists when it is the judge who decides whether or not what is said violates the law. Freedom of expression is not the freedom to say what you want without any limits, and it never has been. The difference is that the limit is justified only by law, enacted to protect the rights of citizens, or also the criteria of a company based on its ideas or interests.

“My offer is final and if it is not accepted, I will reconsider my position as a shareholder. Twitter has tremendous potential, and I’m going to unleash it.”

Twitter responded by saying “the board will carefully review the proposal to determine how to proceed in the best interests of the company and all Twitter shareholders.”

This acerbic phrase is a clear attack on Twitter management and its employees, who do not share Musk’s vision. They believe in moderating more, he believes in moderating less and innovating faster. Because of this difference, the company offered him a seat on the board in exchange for buying no more than 15% of the shares. It was a poison dart for Musk’s true ambitions: if he had accepted this chair, he would have been banned from speaking ill of Twitter, which has been his favorite pastime on Twitter lately, and he doesn’t. would not have had the option of a hostile takeover of the company. based on invoices. Musk declined the offer, and now he intends to impose his idea by force. Or release it, depending on how you see it.

Freedom of expression or personal ambition?

It would be naive to buy Musk’s speech the way he sells it; After all, he is a businessman, and despite the fact that his companies have objectives such as promoting the use of renewable energies or transforming human beings into a “multi-planetary species”, the purpose of these or anything else is to make money. No one starts or buys a business only to lose it.

Twitter has always been a platform that has not been valued according to its importance in society. It’s all happening on Twitter, but no one knows how to monetize it. The company has been accused of innovating little and late, and the incessant change of course between managers who do not use the platform has not been very beneficial.

For Musk, instead, Twitter is very important. Without this speaker, his power would decline; much of his fortune and fame have been achieved through his tweets. What would happen to Musk if Twitter shut down his account? You can’t consent to this, you have to protect yourself. He moves stock value and publicizes his own plans and ideas better than anyone; He agitates the masses, creates debates when he wants and provokes a controversy all the more annoying for his detractors because Elon Musk breaks all the stratagems.