- jane wakefield
- Technology Correspondent, BBC
Elon Musk did not tweet about his new Twitter involvement, which to an avid tweeter seems somewhat ironic.
Perhaps it was because the 9.2% he now owns is considered a passive participationalthough those who know Musk do not expect it to remain so for long.
His first move was to throw a pollasking if people wanted an edit button, something long overdue and perhaps something he personally needs (Twitter confirmed Tuesday that he is working on an edit option).
The new announcement that he will join the directory Twitter was not a surprise.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said in a tweet that “Through conversations with Elon over the past few weeks, it was clear to us that he would bring a Great value to our Board.”
He added that “as a passionate believer and intense critic” of the service, he is “exactly what we need”.
Musk later responded by saying that he was eager to make improvements to the giant of social networks.
Musk’s 9.2% stake in the company social media It may seem small, but Dan Ives of analyst firm Wedbush describes it as “mind-boggling,” equaling 73.5 million shares on the social network.
The actions on the platform soared after it was revealed on Monday that the Tesla founder had become the company’s largest shareholder, meaning the value of the stake has already risen and is now worth more than $3bn.
Musk’s shareholding is four times greater than that of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as chief executive in November.
Ives believes the South African businessman now has his eyes.”laser posts” on Twitter, and his significant involvement will see him take an active role in running the company.
“We would hope that this passive involvement is just the beginning of broader discussions with Twitter’s board and management that could ultimately lead to a active participation and a potentially more aggressive ownership role of Twitter,” he said.
When Elon Musk has an idea, he often takes to Twitter to express it.
Musk has a kind of relationship love and hate with Twitter. He is a frequent tweeter, with more than 80 million followers, and is no stranger to controversy in his interactions on the social networking site.
The platform seems to suit his impulsive personality: last year he asked if he should sell 10% of his shares in his stock company. tesla electric carsto which Twitter users responded yes. This prompted Musk to sell around $5 billion worth of company stock in November.
Months earlier he had offered to sign a check for US$6 billion if the World Food Program (WFP) explained how it would be used to solve world hunger, after a statement by the head of the UN program.
But tweeting has also gotten him into trouble. A 2018 post about Tesla stock sparked an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, for its acronym in English) of the United States that ended an agreement so that the company’s lawyers pre-approved certain tweets. It is unclear if that actually happens.
Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal reported that his shared Twitter files with the SEC, which under normal circumstances would include a line saying he has no the intention to influence in the company, they came with a mark that said: “Does not apply”.
The timing of the deal also raised questions and could put Musk at odds with financial regulators again.
His investment in Twitter was presented on March 14, but was not announced until this week. US securities law requires disclosure within 10 days of acquiring 5% of a company.
Freedom of expression
Musk uses Twitter not only as a gauge of how he runs his own companies, but also increasingly as a gauge of the nation’s temperature.
Last month, after filing your investment with the SEC but before your shareholding was made public, he asked users if they believed that freedom of expression was essential to the functioning of a democracy and if Twitter adheres to this principle.
Cornell University Assistant Professor Alexandra Cirone believes this is evidence that she can use her newfound involvement “to try to influence the practices of Twitter” and for a “most active game in the ecosystem of social networks”.
But others see more immediate problems with his reflections.
Howard Fischer, a partner at the law firm Moses & Singer, told Reuters that since he had already bought a stake in Twitter, these questions could be seen as a form of market manipulation. “I suspect that the SEC is going to take a hard look at whether they can file tampering charges, along with failure to file,” she said.
Agrawal is clearly watching his every movements. In response to her edit button poll, which currently has 2.6 million responses, she urged voters to do so “carefully.”
“The fallout from this poll is going to be significant,” he said, echoing the same words Musk used after launching his poll. freedom of expression and Twitter.
Jack Dorsey had always rejected the idea, and the critics they point out that it could allow people to fundamentally change the meaning of tweets after they’ve been shared.
It would be a big change for Twitter to include a edit buttonand Musk is interested in being a part of that conversation.
For a time last month, it seemed like Musk was intent on building a new social media platform as a rival to Twitter, and there he has a precedent for yet another prolific and controversial tweeter.
Donald Trump, who was banned from using Twitter in January 2021 after unrest on Capitol Hill, announced last fall that he would launch his own social network, dubbed Truth Social, to “stand up to the tyranny of big tech.” “.
But six weeks after its launch, there is a waiting list of 1.5 million people who cannot use it, and Joshua Tucker, director of the Center for Social Networks and Politics of New York University, called the platform a disaster.
According to Reuters, two key executives resigned after the troubled launch.
For those with shares in many Other businesses Musk (Space X, Tesla, Neuralink, The Boring Company), will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief to learn that he did not follow the same path as Trump.
But there will also be concern that you have another exciting project to distract you from the serious business of running your established firms.
Not to mention the problems that could now arise over the agreement of Twitter by the SEC.
Social media expert Casey Newton points out that this isn’t the first time a big tech company has looked at Twitter. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once bought a participation 4% of the company “and essentially did nothing with it,” he writes.
But he goes on to say that Ballmer never tweeted like Musk did: “Cheerfully, annoyed, constantly.”
And most likely it is from this account Twitter let Musk let the world know what he plans to do next.
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