Elon Musk’s Tumultuous Purchase of Twitter


Bryan Wolfe, News Editor

After months of back and forth debates and controversy over the potential magnitude of the decision, billionaire Elon Musk finally decided to purchase Twitter on October 27th, 2022 as a $44 billion deal. Musk’s purchase of Twitter came as a huge shock to the world as Musk throughout the entirety of 2022 had a lot of trouble convincing the former owners of the site of allowing him to purchase the company. It was even more surprising for the entirety of the world that Musk went through with the purchase as Musk had initially shown his interest in the company by initially buying shares in the company all the way back in January of this year.

Consequently, initial reactions of the news from the world also brought with it a string of negative reactions and controversies. Many people were under the impression that Musk’s acquisition of the company would lead to a swarm of people promoting hate speech to their being little to no consequences. In fact, Musk himself put this at the forefront of his main reasons as to why he wanted to purchase the company in the first place. People skeptical of Musk’s acquisition also became weary of him purchasing the site as they believed Musk would bring much chaos to the site as they believe he knows nothing about the manner in which it should be run.

So far the skepticism and doubts casted upon Musk were not without some reason. Those who predicted Musk’s degradation of the site even further were met with their predictions being answered.

On the first day that Musk had purchased Twitter on October 27th 2022, the first executive action that he would go through with was firing former top employees at Twitter, with one even being the former CEO of the company, Parag Agrawal. There are still many questions looming as to why Musk went ahead with this decision, although many people believe that the decision was made due to the fact that Musk from the get go desired to have full power over Twitter and also to have nobody get in the way of future plans for the company.

One of these future initiatives that Musk has sought to rule out upon his purchase of Twitter is that of paid subscriptions for verified check marks. Rumors of this potential idea began to spread online starting on November 1st, 2022, with many people automatically hating the idea right away.

The subscription Musk has stated would be $8 per month, which was met with disdain by many frequent users of the platform as the decision would essentially allow for there to be more scammers on the site who could fake prominent political figures and even celebrities if they are willing to pay the subscription price. What makes the problem even worse is that subscription owners who can now get a verified checkmark for such a low price also get priority tweet replies, meaning that their replies are visible at the top of a tweet thread for everyone to see. And for scammers, this prospect is an easy way to trick people who aren’t aware of the trick.

As rollout of controversial changes and decisions have continued to take place under Musk’s twitter, companies have also decided to turn their face from the social media app. As a result of Musk’s “incompetence” many advertising firms and companies have decided to take their business elsewhere and pull off their advertisements from the site. Many top executives at big named companies believe that their business is no longer suited on the site due to their constant fear of Musk’s capability of driving the platform into the ground and plummeting business all around on the site.

Some examples of companies that have already pulled their advertisements out of Twitter already include Pfizer and Audi, as well as many other companies who consistently use the website for frequent advertising of products. According to Forbes, “Musk is reportedly planning to fire 50% of Twitter’s roughly 7,500 person staff starting Friday (November 4th), prompting concerns the cuts could impact content moderation and security on the website.” 

With so many people already afraid with the current status of Twitter and the volatility of many of its users, many people are continuing to have growing concerns over Musk’s future competency of owning the company. The future of Musk’s future policy initiatives and his methods of running the site are still very unknown and the current situation with his acquisition is still being analyzed closely. As many high profile companies continue to pull their advertising out of the company and as many more individuals are leaving the app, the question of Musk’s capability of running the company still remains. Whether this $44 billion decision was worth his time and money is a question soon to be debated.