Elon Musks Twitter journey | From asking how much Twitter costs in 2017 to musings on almost everything – The Hindu
after buying a 9.4% stake to become the largest shareholder in twitter inc. On April 4, Elon Musk sparked speculation that the world’s richest man and CEO of Tesla would buy Twitter. then on monday april 25th after adopting the ‘poison pill’ mechanism to ward off mr. Musk’s $43 billion takeover bid, and later, under pressure from its shareholders to seek a deal, Twitter finally agreed to be sold for $44 billion.
read: explained | “poison pill” and other corporate defense mechanisms to avoid hostile takeovers
Reading: Bitcoin elon musk tweet
These two weeks of negotiations, however, were by no means his only engagement with or on Twitter. After opening an account in 2009, Tesla’s CEO has used the social media platform in a variety of ways, from expressing his opinions and paying a $40 million fine for a “joke” tweet, to making Wall Street nervous. and to the cryptocurrency markets.
on april 16 this year, mr. Musk returned to comment on a tweet of his from 2017. He had written in a post five years ago, “I love Twitter,” which was followed by a comment from a user asking Mr. Musk to buy the company. “how much?” the billionaire had responded by asking.
“some people use their hair to express themselves, I use twitter”, mr. Musk had tweeted in 2019, and has been using the platform to express his views on just about everything, with playful proposals like bombing the planet Mars or challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin to “single combat,” with the bet being Ukrainian.
a penchant for twitter polls
Over the years, mr. Musk has often used Twitter’s polling feature, asking his followers in a rather informal way to vote on questions that have broad implications. Lately, he had been asking users for their opinion on what appeared to be possible changes he would make to Twitter after taking over.
After buying nearly 73.5 million shares of Twitter in early April, the billionaire asked Twitter users if there should be an “edit button” for tweets. This was followed by Twitter CEO Parag Aggarwal warning users to “vote carefully” as the poll would have “major” consequences.
mr. Musk also unleashed a firestorm about how “free speech” does or doesn’t exist on Twitter, and how things would be different once he joined. on March 25 he asked users in a survey: “Freedom of expression is essential for a functioning democracy. do you think twitter strictly adheres to this principle?
More than two lakh people voted in the poll, with 70% saying that the social media platform did not adhere to the principles of freedom of expression. a day later mr. Muska asked what should be done, given that the platform that served as the “de facto public square” “did not adhere to the principles of freedom of expression”, fundamentally “undermining” democracy.
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mr. Musk even wrote in a tweet that he is a “free speech absolutist” claiming that his satellite internet access company starlink had been asked by some governments to block Russian news sources amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which which the businessman said he would not do unless “at gunpoint”. ”. His views have raised concerns among observers about the implications of his Twitter takeover.
some of the other polls mr. Musk recently made in his quest to make Twitter “better than ever,” asking users to vote on whether the platform needed an “edit button” for tweets and an “open source algorithm” that gives developers more access to the twitter code and allows users to find out how and why twitter participated in monitoring the content.
in november of last year, mr. Musk, in a bid to head off speculation that he had benefited from avoiding taxes on his shares, had asked millions of his followers if he should sell 10% of their shares in Tesla, adding that he would abide by the results.
More than half of the 35 lakh people who participated in the survey supported his proposal to sell 10% of his shares in tesla, causing the shares to fall.
by the way, one day before the vote, mr. Musk’s brother, Kimbal Musk, who is also on the Tesla board, had sold $108 million of his shares. This survey landed Musk in hot water with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which opened an investigation into the Musk brothers as to whether they had engaged in insider trading practices. this was just one of many times mr. the musk had ruffled the feathers of the sec.
The entrepreneur has had a love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies and has made the crypto markets rise or fall with his shifting views.
at the end of January last year, just by adding ‘#bitcoin’ to his twitter user bio, mr. musk pushed up the price of the largest cryptocurrency by 20%.
Two weeks after that, Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, causing the price of crypto assets to surge 17% to a record high of over $44,000 each. a month later, mr. Musk tweeted that customers could buy Tesla cars using Bitcoin.
a couple of months later, however, mr. Musk made his u-turn on bitcoin, noting that the “insane” power consumption for bitcoin mining (the process of verifying cryptographic transactions) was not in line with tesla’s motto of clean energy. tesla’s chief executive tweeted that his company would no longer accept bitcoin payments for vehicle sales. this announcement on twitter negatively affected bitcoin prices, causing them to drop by 10%.
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tesla then sold 10% of his bitcoin holdings, and mr. Musk tweeted that he would allow his company’s bitcoin transactions to resume if it was confirmed that the coin’s miners were using 50% clean energy.
With his acquisition of Twitter, Mr. musk sent another crypto rally due to his comments on it over time. Economic dogecoin, which is the parody crypto asset of bitcoin based on an online meme, surged 35% between April 25 and 26, entering the top ten most valued cryptocurrencies. has been gaining more legitimacy and popularity after mr. musk’s support on twitter.
from calling it his favorite cryptocurrency in a 2019 tweet to making tesla merchandise purchasable with dogecoin, mr. musk has been causing dogecoin prices to hurt over time. In early April, the billionaire even proposed accepting Dogecoin as payment for the purchase of Twitter Lite, the platform’s premium service.
tesla landing in trouble with the second
mr. Musk and Tesla had to pay $20 million each in fines to the US. uu. stock exchange commission for a 2018 tweet purporting to be a “joke”, in which he had confirmed that he secured the funds to take tesla private at $420 per share (the number is a reference to marijuana use ). after being fined a user had asked if paying all that money was worth a joke mr. Musk had responded by tweeting “worth it.”
After this episode, the sec had requested in 2018 mr. Musk to have his tweets about tesla reviewed by a legal expert to ensure they did not induce unprecedented stock market movements. Despite this, the CEO tweeted in 2020 that Tesla’s stock value was “too high” in his opinion, leading to the removal of $14 billion from Tesla’s market value.
a us federal uu. judge ruled this month that mr. Musk’s 2018 tweets were “false and misleading,” and that he had not obtained such funding.
controversial views on covid
mr. Musk has posted some controversial tweets about the pandemic since it began in late 2019. In March 2020, when global covid infections had crossed the one lakh mark, he tweeted: “coronavirus panic is dumb.”
in March 2020, mr. Musk had predicted in a tweet that covid cases in the US. uu. they would become “zero” by the end of April of that year, when daily cases hit 20,000 at the time.
in the same year, he tweeted that tesla would reopen its assembly units in alameda county and california bay area, violating lockdown rules, adding that if authorities wanted to arrest anyone, it should be him .
mr. Musk had also expressed doubts about Covid positivity rates and the efficacy of vaccines.
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