The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids Congress from making any law that discriminates against any religion or restricts freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, or protest.
It’s often called upon in regards to social media. But platforms can ban or censor users at their discretion. The thing is that these platforms are not government entities and are not breaking any laws. Regardless, a new platform touts a focus on freedom of speech and is gaining followers fast. Tap or click here for our report on this Twitter alternative.
Last week we learned that Elon Musk had bought enough shares of Twitter to make him a majority shareholder. Since then, things have escalated, and the Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO is looking for more than just a seat on the board.
Kim called it
Kim Komando has been addressing Twitter’s problems for some time now, reminding us how the social platform veered off track. Many politically conservative users were chastised by Twitter, while others were outright banned. This included former President Trump. Twitter cited violations of its rules, which are not very clear-cut.
By purchasing close to 74 million shares of Twitter, Elon Musk gained a 9.2% stake in the company, as we reported last week. This followed Tweets from Musk regarding Twitter’s policies on freedom of speech. Was he planning to shake things up at Twitter?
The makings of a hostile takeover
Shortly after his $3 billion purchase, Musk was invited to join Twitter’s board of directors. On Sunday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted that Musk has rejected the board member position.
As Kim predicted, these recent events have pointed to a hostile takeover on Musk’s part. Being on the board would limit Musk to a 14% share of the company. Without a seat, he’s free to purchase as many shares as he wants.
The other shoe drops
Tuesday, Musk posted a tweet saying, “I made an offer,” with a link to papers filed with the Securities Exchange Commission. Musk is making a cash offer for 100% of Twitter at $54.20 per share — a deal worth about $43 billion. Twitter shares are at about $46 as of this writing.
Addressing Twitter chairman of the board Bret Taylor, Musk wrote, “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy. 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.”
He went on to say, “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.” That’s quite a threat.
More problems at Twitter
In 2020, researchers at Carnegie Mellon Institute analyzed more than 200 million tweets regarding coronavirus or COVID-19. The report found 82% of the top 50 influential retweeters and 62% of the top 1,000 retweeters are bots.
About half of all Twitter accounts are handled by bots. Though the platform is aware of this, it isn’t doing much about it. Remember that the next time you get in an argument with someone over their post. It might not be an actual person.
Things are not great at Twitter. Will Musk make things better or worse? Will his actions influence others with the means to take over social media platforms?
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