Elon Musk fires top Twitter executives as he completes takeover
After months and months of speculation and negotiating billionaire Elon Musk has finally completed his purchase of Twitter for an eye-watering $44bn.
The world's richest man, 51, appeared to confirm media reports of his takeover of Twitter, tweeting shortly before 5am (UK time) on Friday: “the bird is freed”.
The billionaire’s chief criticism of the social media platform has been its policing of “free speech”. Musk is expected to speak to Twitter employees directly on Friday if the deal is finalised, according to an internal memo cited in several media outlets.
Despite internal confusion and low morale tied to fears of layoffs or a dismantling of the company’s culture and operations, Twitter leaders this week have at least outwardly welcomed Mr Musk’s arrival and messaging.
Musk's takeover has been greeted with mixed emotions by those who regularly use Twitter. Musk has reportedly already moved to fire several of the company top executives including Twitter's boss Parag Agrawal.
The South African entrepreneur wants to bring an element of 'free speech' back to the website something that some felt the likes of Agrawal and previous owner Jack Dorsey were attempting to curtail.
However, by doing this, some fear that Musk may unleash a wave of abuse and trolls back on to Twitter, with some also fearing that he could welcome back some of its more infamous former users.
Many top accounts, including the Washington Post's technology reporter Taylor Lorenz, have compared Musk's takeover to the 'gates of hell opening.'
\u201cIt\u2019s like the gates of hell opened on this site tonight\u201d
\u201cFight for twitter's soul has been going on for years. The right kept flocking to other echo chambers... but always came crawling back. Big changes are coming and suspect we'll see a rush of left leaning people to other platforms. Also suspect reports of twitter death premature\u201d
\u201cthe important thing about Elon buying twitter is we all have to act like Tumblr after Yahoo bought it. devalue this platform. make it much worse. stop "driving engagement" and start depression posting. block every promoted tweet. we can do this.\u201d
Some are slightly more optimistic about what the future might hold.
\u201cElon Musk has indicated he will oppose Big Tech censorship and support free speech. \n\nThat\u2019s something all freedom-loving people can get behind.\u201d
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@Sen. Marsha Blackburn)
\u201cWe are hurtling in the wrong direction on climate. \n\nThough this can be a powerful organizing space, it is a more powerful time wasting space. \n\nA more powerful space for depressing, demoralizing + dividing us. \n\nLess Twitter might mean more planet.\n \nhttps://t.co/rGAUSRwI5M\u201d
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