Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44 Billion
By: Ryan Guo
On October 28, 2022, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, bought the social media app Twitter for an astounding 44 billion dollars. In his first few days as an owner, he laid off over 3700 twitter employees, including the top executives of Twitter and the board of directors.
Elon Musk claims that Twitter faced the chance of becoming bankrupt, and that the company had to become “hard core” to survive. Twitter announced that it would stop trading in the New York Stock exchange. Musk plans to make a council to handle questions on Twitter and would not immediately unban people. In addition, Musk will add subscription services to Twitter, which would bring in revenue directly from users instead of relying on advertisers to make money.
While some are not happy with the transfer of ownership, Republicans and media personalities celebrated. The increase of followers to several right-wing Twitter accounts skyrocketed. Former President Donald J. Trump, who was banned from Twitter after breaking Twitter rules, said that he was “very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands.”
However, Musk faces challenges being the owner of Twitter. The billionaire also has responsibilities at his car company Tesla, as well as his space company SpaceX. Many fear that the task of successfully handling a media company may prove to be too much on top of these other responsibilities After Musk bought Twitter, European regulators announced that they would closely examine the changes he made to the company, while many advertisers and misinformation researchers predicted a high potential for Twitter posts with toxicity and posts with lies. In just 12 hours after the transfer, Twitter saw a 500% increase of racial slurs and curse words.
The main challenge for Musk is simply running the company. Currently, Twitter is losing a lot of money, while the company has 7,500 employees and 240 million users. Furthermore, Musk, who lost 13 billion dollars to help with the company, must also pay about 1 billion dollars in interest every year.
Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/28/business/twitter-elon-musk.html, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/15/technology/elon-musk-twitter-fired-criticism.html#:~:text=Just%20over%20a%20week%20after,the%20sales%20and%20advertising%20departments.