Surprise! Elon Musk Owns 9% of Twitter
Social Media Shake-up
Elon Musk is now a big player in the social media space. After openly flirting with the idea of starting his own social platform, a recent securities filing revealed that he owns 9% of Twitter (TWTR).
Musk has joined others, such as former president Donald Trump, in criticizing Twitter’s content management, which he claims infringes on freedom of speech. There are alternative platforms with more lax controls, but some fear the loosening of editorial standards could cause harm by spreading misinformation.
Sparring Over Twitter
The revelation of Mr. Musk’s stake in Twitter, which is valued at close to $3 billion, caused the stock price to skyrocket. Shares were up over 25% on the news. Musk’s 73.5 million shares now exceeds the number owned by the company’s co-founder, Jack Dorsey.
Elon Musk is highly critical of the algorithms used by Twitter, which are designed to make money for the company through advertising. He has advocated for making these algorithms open source, meaning making the software publicly accessible. Mr. Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter, responded, “The choice of which algorithm to use (or not) should be open to everyone.”
The Richest of All
Elon Musk is the richest person in the world, with a net worth of approximately $273 billion. In addition to Tesla (TSLA), he founded aerospace company SpaceX, which includes satellite internet services offered by Starlink.
The billionaire’s gutsy orientation and tendency to push boundaries has not always played out well for him. In 2018 he agreed to pay $20 million to settle a lawsuit involving tweets that the SEC claimed violated securities law. At issue was a message Musk posted that discussed the possibility of taking Tesla private. The SEC deemed the information shared on Twitter “false and misleading.”
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