World's richest man Elon Musk is attempting a hostile takeover of social media platform Twitter. After being offered the role of board member, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO instead attempted to buy out the company.
In response to Musk's hefty $43 billion buyout offer, Twitter has adopted a poison pill method to keep Musk out. This means that existing shareholders can purchase additional stock at a huge discount in order to stop a hostile takeover.
Will a Musk Twitter acquisition be bad for civil rights?
With Musk's gargantuan offer being considered by Twitter, many have urged the social media platform to not allow the buyout. Reported by CNBC, this sentiment was echoed in a plea by National Urban League president Marc Morial, who asked the company to consider the civil rights implications.
Musk, who is often criticised on the platform, has expressed a desire to turn the platform into one that more suits him. The billionaire — who has censored employees and critics — has claimed that the platform needs to allow more “free speech”. However, Morial and many others believe that Musk's definition of the term is dangerous.
Morial told the company that Musk has often “expressed concerning views” that are opposite to “creating an online community that is safe for marginalized communities and protects our democracy.” This dichotomy is one of the main reasons why many do not trust Musk’s wish to turn the platform into a private company.
“Without key protections and safeguards, much of the concerning activities that we see on Twitter, including white supremacist propaganda, racial and religious hatred, voter suppression through election disinformation, algorithmic bias and discrimination, and the hardening of our national discourse are likely to proliferate under Musk’s ownership. The potential to negatively impact millions directly and our nation’s culture and democracy indirectly are exponential and should be part of your analysis in reviewing this — or any other — offer of purchase.”
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He wanted his own company
Of course, as many know, Musk's attempt to buy Twitter only arose amidst a desire to create his own social media platform. Just like former president Donald Trump, Musk wanted his own social media that fit his definition of “free speech”.
However, as is a pattern with Musk, that plan to create didn't last long. Instead, the billionaire decided to buy out an existing platform, just like he did with Neuralink and Tesla, of which he falsely labels himself as a founder.
If the billionaire does indeed purchase Twitter, the company will be taken private. With this in mind, Musk will be able to force whatever ideas he wants onto the platform, including new ways of moderation that suit him.