Elon Musk lays out reasons for impending Twitter takeover
San Francisco, California - Ahead of the official closing of his Twitter purchase, Elon Musk released an open statement on Thursday, telling advertisers he's taking over the platform "to help humanity."
"It is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence," the billionaire said.
He explained his concern that social media has the power to "generate more hate and divide our society" into extremist echo chambers.
In the letter titled "Dear Twitter advertisers," Musk said that "Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences," however, as he wants it to be "warm and welcoming to all."
The $44-billion deal has not officially closed and confirmed by Twitter. However, Musk mentioning the deal in the past tense points to an imminent announcement.
The transaction must be completed by 7:00 AM EDT on Friday or the deal will go to court in the state of Delaware after all.
Musk to address Twitter employees on Friday
This deadline was set in court to finally settle the takeover after months of wrangling.
Musk initially agreed to buy Twitter in April. Later in July, he said the agreement was invalid due to the company's alleged misrepresentations about fake accounts.
Twitter sued to enforce the purchase agreement and a court case was scheduled to resolve the dispute. At the beginning of October, however, Musk renewed his purchase offer.
In recent days, it's become apparent that Musk has accepted his new role as Twitter's owner.
He now refers to himself as "Chief Twit" on his Twitter profile.
On Wednesday, he showed up at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, and he reportedly plans to introduce himself to the employees on a larger scale on Friday.
This is not likely to be an easy job for Musk, as he has been publicly critical of the company and its leadership for months and recent reports of large-scale job cuts have caused uncertainty among employees.
"I didn't do it because it would be easy," he said in his Thursday announcement. "I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love. And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility."
Musk's plans cause concern
Musk has long justified his purchase by citing the need to protect and strengthen freedom of speech. He even said he would let former president Donald Trump back onto the platform, who was banned for his role in inciting violence at the US Capitol.
Critics are concerned that the change in ownership will result in less moderated content on the network and thus encourage hate speech, something which may scare away advertisers. Musk's own inconsistent approach to free speech, as well as his lurch to the right and troll tendencies, are also an obvious worry.
Advertising revenue accounts for practically all of Twitter's revenue.
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