After a few weeks of whirlwinds marked by a very public back and forth between Musk and Twitter, the company said Monday that it had agreed to sell itself to the world’s richest man in a $ 44 billion deal that will take it private. .
The deal, which is expected to be finalized this year, puts a new spotlight on the billionaire’s ever-evolving and sometimes erratic view of Twitter over the years, many of which have shared on Twitter itself.
Use the tool below to view posts Musk has made on Twitter relating to Twitter.
Method: This tool displays tweets created by Elon Musk, where he has used the keywords ‘Twitter’ or ‘tweet’ since his account was created without including deleted tweets. It also shows all his tweets related to Twitter since January 1, 2022, though they do not include these keywords. This is not an exhaustive library of all the tweets that Musk has made about Twitter.
In its nearly 13 years on the platform, Twitter has become an important part of Musk’s personal brand. It’s a place where he communicates to his more than 80 million followers about his business ventures, strikes at people he considers adversaries, makes market-moving comments about cryptocurrencies, and occasionally shares memes.
To say the relationship between Musk and Twitter in his own words, he joked in a 2019 tweet: “Some people use their hair to express themselves, I use Twitter.”
Musk’s encouragement to buy Twitter directly came especially after he turned down a seat on the company’s board, a move that some business management experts speculated may have been because such a role would have come with the expectation that Musk stops tweeting criticism about the company.
However, trying to get Musk to stop tweeting about companies is almost a prologue to how he ended up seeking to buy Twitter. Musk’s tweets about Tesla have landed him in hot water, several times, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. His years-long feud with the SEC goes back to his now infamous 2018 tweet, in which he said, “I’m considering taking Tesla private for $ 420. Funding secured.”
The nine-word tweet sent the Tesla stock up in the air at the time, but the SEC then accused him of misleading investors. Musk and regulators eventually reached an agreement that included, among other things, a requirement that Musk obtain prior approval from other Tesla executives before tweeting about the company. Apparently, ever since, Musk has spoken out about what he sees as an attack on “freedom of speech.”
A few days later, on March 26, Musk tweeted that he was “seriously” considering creating his own social media platform, claiming that Twitter does not uphold the principles of free speech. About a week after that, Musk bought more than 9% of the shares in Twitter and became the technology giant’s largest shareholder. Shortly after, Monday, Twitter said it had agreed to sell itself to Musk entirely.
“Twitter’s board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to evaluate Elon’s proposal with a conscious focus on value, security and financing,” said Twitter’s independent chairman Bret Taylor in a statement announcing the deal, which he described as “the best way forward”. . ” for Twitter’s shareholders. “
Musk, meanwhile, doubled his position as a proponent of “freedom of speech.”
“Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital urban space where issues crucial to the future of humanity are discussed,” Musk said in a statement Monday. “Twitter has enormous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the user community to unlock it.”
One of Musk’s first tweets specifically about Twitter, released in 2017, was quite simple: “I love Twitter. “The tweet received a” Same “response from then-CEO Jack Dorsey, as well as a response from a user who suggested he buy it.” How much will it be? “Musk tweeted at the time, years before he formally submitted his bid for the company.
This year, Musk’s tweets about Twitter changed markedly to start airing more specific complaints about how the platform works. He attacked the company for “spending engineering resources” on creating NFT profile pictures instead of addressing spam accounts. He has referred to Twitter’s algorithm several times and called for it to be open source, meaning that it is publicly available for anyone to view, rework and use for other purposes.
Recently, Musk has indicated that much is at stake for the platform to strengthen freedom of expression. “Given that Twitter acts as the de facto public square, it fundamentally undermines democracy if one does not adhere to the principles of freedom of expression,” he tweeted last month.
And in his last tweet, before the news broke that Twitter had accepted his takeover bid, Musk continued his refrain, tweeting Monday morning: “I hope even my worst critics stay on Twitter, because that’s what freedom of speech means.”