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What does Musk want with Twitter? Check out his tweets for clues

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk's twitter account is seen on a smartphone in front of the Twitter logo in this photo illustration taken, April 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk's twitter account is seen on a smartphone in front of the Twitter logo in this photo illustration taken, April 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Published May 5, 2022

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Elon Musk has secured $7.14 billion (around R114.57 billion) in funding from a group of investors that includes Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison and Sequoia Capital to fund his $44 billion (around R706.04 billion) takeover of Twitter Inc, according to a filing.

Here's a chronology of developments, including some tweets from Musk, that shed some light on his views of the company and free speech:

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– April 27, 2022: "Twitter DMs should have end to end encryption like Signal, so no one can spy on or hack your messages," Musk said in a tweet.

– April 27, 2022: "For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally," Musk tweeted.

– April 25, 2022 - “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means," Musk said in a tweet.

– April 25, 2022: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk tweeted.

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After the deal was announced. "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans."

– April 21, 2022: "If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!" Musk tweeted.

“And authenticate all real humans," he added.

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– April 14, 2022: “Taking Twitter private at $54.20 should be up to shareholders, not the board," Musk asked in a poll on Twitter in which 83.5% of the responders said yes.

– April 14, 2022: Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said that as one of the major shareholders in Twitter he rejected a takeover bid by Musk.

– April 14, 2022: "However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company," Musk said in a filing.

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– April 14, 2022: "My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder," Musk added in the filing.

– April 14, 2022: "Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it," Musk said in the filing.

– April 14, 2022: Musk tweeted saying "I made an offer", with a link to the company filing.

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– April 12, 2022: Musk was sued by former Twitter shareholders who claim they missed out on the recent run-up in its stock price because he waited too long to disclose a 9.2% stake in the social media company.

– April 10, 2022: Musk polled followers on Twitter asking whether the company's headquarters in San Francisco should be converted into a homeless shelter. The tweet is now deleted. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos had backed Musk's idea.

– April 10, 2022: Twitter CEO Agrawal shared a note on Twitter saying that Musk rejected the company's offer to join its board. Musk deleted the tweet, where he responded with an emoticon with a face-with-hand-over-mouth.

– April 10, 2022: Musk started a poll asking if "w" should be deleted from Twitter's name, leaving two voting options, "yes" and "of course." He deleted that too.

– April 9, 2022: With respect to Twitter's business model, Musk tweeted before deleting it: "And no ads. The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive".

– April 9, 2022: Musk tweeted "Everyone who signs up for Twitter Blue (ie pays $3/month) should get an authentication checkmark" about its subscription service that offers "exclusive access to premium features" on a monthly basis. Later, he deleted the tweet.

– April 5, 2022: Agrawal tweeted

Musk is being appointed to Twitter's board. "He's both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on @Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term", a follow-on tweet said.

– April 5, 2022: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey welcomed Musk to Twitter's board in a tweet.

added: "Parag and Elon both lead with their hearts, and they will be an incredible team".

– April 4, 2022: Musk posted a Twitter poll asking users if they wanted an edit button. "Do you want an edit button?" Musk asked in the tweet, in response to which Agrawal said the consequences of the poll will be important. "Please vote carefully," he tweeted.

– April 4, 2022: In his first tweet since the disclosure of his stake in Twitter, he said, "Oh hi lol"

– March 26, 2022: Musk said Twitter failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy and asked if a new platform was needed.

Reuters

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