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Tesla boss becomes biggest Twitter shareholder

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By Paul Hemsley
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3 minute read

Elon Musk, head of Tesla Inc. and the world's wealthiest individual, has swallowed up a bundle of shares in the social media giant, Twitter.

 

The high profile tech-entrepreneur's procurement of a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter, valued at USD$2.9 billion, was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 4 April, potentially enabling him unprecedented decision-making influence and authority within the company.

 

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What that means for regular Twitter users is presently unclear, but it's the biggest corporate shake-up to the social media behemoth since Parag Agrawal replaced founder Jack Dorsey as CEO in November 2021.

 

Investors, however, look sure to profit, with Twitter’s share price surging by over 20 per cent in the direct aftermath of the announcement. 

 

An outspoken critic of Twitter and its internal operations regarding how it moderates political content, the expansion of Mr Musk's Twitter portfolio follows his very recent public discussion regarding the future of social media.

 

He wryly proposed the idea of forming a brand new social media platform to rival Twitter in March 2022. And he proposed it by tweeting about it.

 

Mr Musk's public thought bubbles hinting at creating a new platform fuelled online speculation that he might join the ranks of alternative social media platforms like Parler, Gettr and Former US President Donald Trump's own Truth app.

 

These alternative platforms have been regarded as safe havens for conservative Twitter users who've stood opposed to what they view as Twitter's political bias in its moderation.

 

Another controversial voice from the past has recently re-emerged – former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey offered a sobering take on social media's impact on the state of the internet.

 

Tweeting on 3 April in the lead-up to Mr Musk's surprise share purchase, Mr Dorsey wrote the days of Usenet, IRC, the web, and email, were "amazing".

 

Given Mr Dorsey's role in transforming the general public's engagement with online interfaces, his public nostalgia for an earlier, pre-social media period is unexpected.

 

He said "centralising discovery and identity into corporations really damaged the internet."

 

Almost as a solemn expression of remorse for the toxicity that permeates the modern online experience compared to the good old days of specialised message board forums, he said "I realise I'm partially to blame, and regret it."

Tesla boss becomes biggest Twitter shareholder

Elon Musk, head of Tesla Inc. and the world's wealthiest individual, has swallowed up a bundle of shares in the social media giant, Twitter.

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