The Elon Musk-Twitter takeover saga finally came to a conclusion late Thursday, October 27. The world’s richest man closed the $44 billion purchase of the popular social media platform. With this takeover, Musk has a new title on his resume and Twitter profile: Chief Twit. The sale was completed just days before a court-ordered deadline for Musk and Twitter to work things out themselves.
Immediately after the transaction closed, Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and policy and legal affairs leader Vijaya Gadde. Agrawal and Segal were at the headquarters when they were terminated and promptly escorted out.
The high-profile firings likely stemmed from Musk’s belief that the top executives were being dishonest with him about the number of bot accounts. Twitter’s 7,500 employees are concerned about their futures after Musk announced more job cuts were coming. Yet, he did vow that this did not include significant layoffs.
Elon Musk has previously criticized the network’s content moderation rules. He announced in May that he would reverse Twitter’s ban on Donald Trump. The former president’s account was removed after the January 6 insurrection.
Advertisers question whether Twitter could become too lawless and thus lose its appeal. Musk responded on Thursday with the reassurance: “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”
European regulators have cautioned Musk that Twitter must abide by the EU’s Digital Services Act under his ownership. This regulation imposes considerable fines on organizations that do not moderate illegal or harmful content.
On the morning of Friday, October 28, Thierry Breton tweeted what could be perceived as a gentle reminder of that caution. The European Union’s Commissioner for the Internal Market confirmed, “In Europe, the bird will fly by our EU rules.”
The concern might turn out to be unwarranted. Elon Musk has a vision of Twitter as the core of a “super app.” The concept includes turning the messaging platform into a single stop for Uber-type services, shopping, and transferring money.
An outspoken advocate for free speech, Musk claims another goal is preventing Twitter from becoming a place of hate and division. The billionaire said on Thursday that he didn’t buy Twitter for money. The motivation was “to try to help humanity, whom I love.”