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April 20, 2022

Should Elon Musk Be The Owner of Twitter?

Elon Musk, the climate activist, space entrepreneur, and electric vehicle manufacturer, is reportedly bidding for Twitter (TWTR). A good advice will be to get out of there.

According to a financial filing, Musk bought approximately 10% of the microblogging company’s free-floating stock last month, making him the largest stakeholder. What happened next wasn’t entirely clear: The firm, Twitter, awarded him a seat on its board of directors, but also took steps to limit his authority, including instituting a “poison pill” that would diminish everyone’s shares and prevent a “hostile takeover.”

It’s unclear why a man with Twitter’s clout would seek to take it over. Musk has proposed a number of apparent upgrades to the platform as part of his quest to gain widespread support for it.

Musk, like any good populist, wants to give Twitter users what they want: an edit button, longer tweets, and a DOGE tipping system (although, admittedly, the audience for DOGE improvements might be small).

Crypto has a dog in the race and a point of view, to the degree that there is such a thing. Twitter, like other specialized hobbies, is extremely indispensable to the industry.

Twitter, more than any other social or communication network, is where news breaks, reputations are created (and destroyed), and coins are traded. Other centralized platforms in crypto’s communication stack – Discord, Slack, even Gmail – but the “bird app” rises above them all.

Musk, who was once the wealthiest man on the planet, has a lot of clout with the platform. Twitter has sparked revolutions, fueled social movements, and, most recently, may have influenced the outcome of a war.

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It’s a serious world-historical media, with its own genre and, most of the time, actual entertainment. However, Twitter, like any other place where huge groups of people meet and communicate on a regular basis, can be ugly and brutish — and not just because the posting structure is so brief.