Elon Musk Buys Twitter and Suspends Accounts

Musk acquired the social media platform Twitter for $44 billion and immediately began implenting changes.
Musk acquired the social media platform Twitter for $44 billion and immediately began implenting changes. (Photo courtesy of TechCrunch)

After months of back and forth, billionaire Elon Musk finally bought Twitter in early October, marking a new era for the short form messaging social media platform. This past summer, Musk told the press of his intentions to buy the company. His reasoning was that he was frustrated with the excessive “fake news” stories being posted and the multiple bot accounts. His new ownership of the platform brings it into the private sector. Now that twitter is privately owned, Musk will have more power to exert what is allowed to be posted on the site.

Musk had originally offered to buy the company early this summer but began to back out, resulting in a lawsuit with Twitter. After Musk finally agreed to buy the company for $44 billion, he quickly started to sell stocks of Tesla to help finance this new purchase. In November, he began selling his Tesla shares for a total of $15.4 billion to help cover the costs, as well as lay off current employees. 

Musk plans to incorporate more measures to promote free speech and create a subscription service for government and verified accounts, as well as make mentions of expanding Twitter to become a mega app called “X.” There has been a lot of pushback with the new changes. Many people are criticizing Musk for hypocritical behavior, as he claims to promote free speech but has suspended Twitter accounts challenging him or making fun of him.

The most notable instance was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who made claims that Musk suspended her account after she disagreed with Musk’s possible implementation of an $8 monthly based subscription service for verified accounts. Her tweet, “Yo @elonmusk while I have your attention, why should people pay $8 just for their app to get bricked when they say something you don’t like?” She included a screenshot of her account being suspended with her unable to see any mentions or notifications. This sparked controversy and people denounced Musk for seemingly going back on his stance on free speech.

In another effort to promote free speech, Musk plans on bringing back the former Republican president Donald Trump. After the January 2021 capitol riots, Trump’s Twitter account was permanently suspended for violation of community guidelines, citing as “risk of further incitement of violence.” 

Twitter employees are concerned about Musk’s control of the social media platform, and he has begun a large layoff of employees, which he warned he would do. Employee resource groups like Twitter Women have been eliminated, and several higher ups in Twitter have left the company. “We found out from the news that Parag [Agrawal], our C.E.O., plus the C.F.O., the head of legal, and the chief general counsel were all gone,” one employee told The New Yorker. “Our customer officer posted on Twitter that she resigned on Friday. We’re not hearing anything at all from inside the company.” The company has been in disarray after Musk fired the C.E.O and C.F.O. He is expected to replace them with trusted confidants.

Multiple Twitter users have come forward to talk about their dissatisfaction with Musk’s changes, as well as Twitter’s higher ups. There is growing fear that the changes created to Twitter’s guidelines by Musk and the loosening of regulations will result in a mass of right-leaning content. As he settles into his new position as the owner of Twitter, multiple Twitter executives have left their positions. Advertising companies appear unsure about Musk’s purchase of the platform. Advertisements make up well over half of Twitter’s revenue, but companies including Volkswagen, Audi and Pfizer have suspended ads following Musk’s takeover. 

Musk’s purchase of Twitter is new and we are just seeing the beginnings of how the platform will be affected. While Musk continues to make changes, Twitter’s future remains uncertain. 

About Kenny Nohavicka 28 Articles
Kenny Nohavicka (They/Them) is a fourth year digital media management major from Westchester, NY. They have been writing for the Oracle since they transferred to SUNY New Paltz in Spring 2021. When they’re not writing, Kenny can be found shopping on Main st, dancing to Katy Perry, or doom scrolling through Instagram.