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Elon Musk becomes the largest Twitter shareholder

Musk Rogan Youtube screen

Space X and Tesla founder Elon Musk (pictured) has bought 73.5 million shares representing 9.2% of microblogging platform Twitter.

The US Securities and Exchanges Commissions has released details of the filing. It is widely being reported that the move makes Elon Musk the largest Twitter shareholder, and the BBC claims this is four times the 2.25% holding of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who has recently vacated the CEO position.

Musk has 80 million followers on the social media platform, who he polled on March 25th with a tweet stating “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”.He followed up by stating ‘The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.’

70% voted no. However the filing is listed as March 14th, so Musk had already made the move by then. He also polled his followers round the same time asking whether Twitter algorithms should be open sourced, which could represent some indication of what direction Musk might seek to nudge the platform towards, or at least bring the subject up with management from a position which they can’t exactly ignore.

Musk also recently publicly pondered the idea of starting his own social media platform, having famously cited some issued he sees with Twitter’s approach in particular to free speech. While the exact figure he paid for 73.5 million shares of Twitter are not cited in the filing, it’s obviously going to be a huge sum of money, though perhaps not as much as building a new one from scratch.

He also famously has his fingers in so many pies already (including space travel, electric cars, neural interfaces, and solar energy) that perhaps holding a big presence on the board of the company he think could be run better was seen as a more realistic way of effecting change than becoming CEO of yet another firm.

 

Image credit: YouTube.

 

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