Late on Thursday, Elon Musk acquired control of Twitter and sacked its top executives in a move that places one of the most important forums for international dialogue in his hands.
Elon Musk is the richest man in the world. According to unnamed sources cited by the Washington Post and CNBC, Musk fired the company’s chief executive officer, Parag Agrawal, as well as its top financial officer and head of safety.
Agrawal moved to court to enforce the provisions of a takeover agreement that the Tesla CEO had attempted to elude. The revelations surfaced hours before Musk was supposed to finalize his on-again, off-again agreement to buy the social media network, according to a court-appointed deadline.
Musk tweeted earlier in the day that he was buying Twitter “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.”
The agreement is the result of a protracted back and forth between the billionaire and the social network. Musk attempted to back out of the Twitter deal immediately after his unsolicited bid was accepted in April, and he said in July that he was terminating the agreement because Twitter deceived him about the amount of alleged false “bot” accounts that the business had rejected.
Twitter responded by attempting to show that Musk was inventing justifications for leaving because he had changed his mind. Twitter launched a lawsuit to enforce the terms of the deal after Musk sought to cancel the sale.
With a trial looming, the unpredictable billionaire capitulated and revived his takeover plan. Musk signaled the deal was on track this week by changing his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit” and posting a video of himself walking into the company’s California headquarters carrying a sink. “Let that sink in!” he quipped.
While acknowledging that Twitter “cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be uttered with no consequences,” Musk said he understands this. It is anticipated that Musk will make it easier for former US president Donald Trump to rejoin the platform by reducing content monitoring to a bare minimum.
The then-president was prohibited out of fear that he might incite additional violence to overturn his electoral defeat, similar to the deadly attack on the Washington, D.C., Capitol.