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Elon Musk Frees the Bird: Twitter’s New CEO

Tesla Inc. CEO and billionaire Elon Musk has bought Twitter Inc, finishing his payment of 44 billion dollars before his deadline on October 28, 2022. On Thursday, October 27, he tweeted “The bird is freed” after he finalized the acquisition, referencing Twitter’s bird logo. 

Back in April of 2022,  Musk agreed to join Twitter’s board, but had a change of heart abruptly and instead offered to buy the company for $54.20 per share, which Twitter accepted. Later on, however, it appeared that Musk started having doubts about completing the deal, as he complained publicly about Twitter’s spam accounts, alleging the company did not inform him accurately about the subject. 

Consequently, in July, 2022, Musk decided to terminate his deal with the company. Twitter sued Musk for this decision, and in the subsequent months followed a legal dispute between Musk’s attorneys and Twitter’s attorneys. It concluded in October when Musk seemed to have another change of heart, and he offered to complete the deal on the original terms, buying the company at $54.20 per share. He then completed his payment on Thursday, October 27, just one day before his payment deadline. 

As the new owner of the company, Musk has informed his intentions to cut jobs, and he started the termination of some of the 7,500 employees by letting go of CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. 

Musk has also declared that he intends to revise Twitter’s banning policy, reversing the ban on a number of accounts, including former US president Donald Trump, whose account was banned after the incident on the US Capitol in 2021. 

Moreover, Musk has said that he intends to revise the process for gaining the verified “blue tick”, and is planning on charging $19.99 per month to be verified - a rise of 15 dollars, as it currently costs $4.99. With this new policy, already verified users would be given 90 days to subscribe to the new Twitter Blue service, or else lose their blue tick. Twitter Blue serves as the premium version of Twitter, giving subscribers access to a variety of features including the option to undo tweets. 

Nevertheless, Musk assured, in an open letter to advertisers, that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!". He also stated: “the reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” and he added, “there is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far-right wing and far left-wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”

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