SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Move over Mark Zuckerberg. There’s another billionaire in the San Francisco Bay ready to take over Facebook’s rival.
Telsa CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is set to buy Twitter with $44 billion in cash.
Twitter, which is headquartered in San Francisco and one of the most influential social media platforms in the world, announced it agreed to be acquired by Musk.
The billionaire wrote about his plans for Twitter, of course, on Twitter.
“If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying! And authenticate all real humans,” Musk tweeted.
On Monday Musk tweeted, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
Musk added, “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. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
Musk describes himself as a “free speech absolutist,” and recently criticized Twitter for failing to uphold freedom of speech principals.
Twitter infamously and permanently suspended former President Donald Trump not long after the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Twitter released a statement two days after the insurrection, writing, “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
“Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence,” Twitter wrote.
Trump was also banned by Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Before the bans, Trump used Twitter as his primary communication outlet.
What will Musk’s “Twitter Takeover” mean for Trump on Twitter?
Musk has not publicly commented on whether he would restore the former president’s account.
Regardless, Trump said he will not return to Twitter.
Trump told Fox News on Monday that he will be using his own, new platform, Truth Social, as his sole communication channel on social media.
The Trump Media & Technology Group’s platform, Truth Social, launched last month with the mission statement, “Truth Social is America’s ‘Big Tent’ social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology.”
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump told Fox News.
Trump is slated to start “TRUTHing,” instead of tweeting, later this week.
“We’re finding is that the response on TRUTH is much better than being on Twitter. Twitter has bots and fake accounts,” Trump told Fox.
Truthing and tweeting aside, Trump wished Musk good luck with his new endeavor.
“I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man,” Trump told Fox News.
Former President Barack Obama delivered a speech at Stanford University last week about “disinformation,” and challenges to democracy in the digital information realm. Avalanches of information shared, liked, and retweeted through social media also contain piles of misinformation, he said.
Obama said Silicon Valley has the power to be part of the solution.
“There are bugs in the software. We don’t have to just leave it like that. We can make it better,” Obama said.
Obama said he is a strong believer in the First Amendment’s freedom of speech.
“I believe the free, robust, and sometimes antagonistic exchange of ideas produces better outcomes. (However) we have to address the supply of toxic information and the demand for it. Tech companies have a unique role for how we as a people consume information. Their decisions have an impact on society,” Obama said.