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Elon Musk buys Twitter in $44 billion deal

  • Elon Musk buys Twitter in $44 billion deal
    Tesla chief executive will gain control over social network he has criticized over its handling of ‘free speech’ Elon Musk buys Twitter in $44 billion deal
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Tesla chief executive will gain control over social network he has criticized over its handling of ‘free speech’

 

 Elon Musk reached an agreement to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion on Monday, promising a more lenient touch to policing content on the platform where he promotes his interests, attacks critics and opines on social and economic issues to more than 83 million followers.

The outspoken Tesla CEO, who is also the world’s wealthiest person, has said he wanted to own and privatize Twitter because he thinks it’s not living up to its potential as a platform for free speech.

Musk said in a joint statement with Twitter that he wants to make the service "better than ever" with new features, such as getting rid of automated "spam bots" and making its algorithms open to the public to increase trust.

"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk said, adding hearts, stars and rocket emojis in a tweet that highlighted the statement.

A more hands-off approach to content moderation has many people concerned the platform will become more of a haven for disinformation and hate speech, something it has worked hard on in recent years to mitigate.

The deal was cemented roughly two weeks after the billionaire first revealed a 9 percent stake in the platform. Musk said last week that he had lined up $46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter, putting pressure on the company’s board to negotiate a deal.