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Elon Musk now Twitter’s largest shareholder

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Outspoken CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk purchased a large stake in Twitter, making him the largest outside shareholder in the social media stock, not long after criticizing the company for failing to uphold the tenets of free speech.

Musk previously chastised the social media giant for “failing to adhere to free speech principles” and publicly contemplated creating his own social media platform.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission 13G filing released Monday, Musk owns 73,486,938 shares of Twitter, representing a 9.2 percent passive stake in the company. Based on Twitter’s closing price on Friday, the stake is worth $2.89 billion.

Musk has become Twitter’s largest shareholder as a result of the acquisition. In comparison, according to Forbes, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey owns only a 2.25 percent stake.

Musk’s massive purchase comes just days after he polled his millions of Twitter followers on what they thought about Twitter’s free speech principles.

Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” Musk tweeted in a caption of a Yes/No poll he put up on March 25. “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?

The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully,” Musk wrote in a follow-up tweet to that poll.

Out of 2,035,924 Twitter users who voted in Musk’s poll, 70.4% voted ‘No” while 29.6% voted “Yes.”

Following the closing and results of his poll, Musk asked Twitter users what should be done about the social media giant.

Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk asks in a tweet. “What should be done?

Musk is a frequent Twitter user, with over 80 million followers on the platform. Some of his tweets, however, have landed the Tesla CEO in hot water over the years.

Musk tweeted on August 7, 2018, that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share. Musk and Tesla shareholders experienced a roller coaster ride in the year following that tweet. During that time, the company set performance records while also dealing with litigation, government investigations, and layoffs. Musk also reached an agreement with the SEC that removed him from his position as Tesla’s chairman.

Musk considers idea of creating own social media platform

Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) of Twitter asked billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk if he would consider creating his own social media platform in an apparent response. Musk responded to Pathole’s question by saying, “[I] am seriously considering this.”

While Musk has yet to make a public statement on his recent large stake acquisition of Twitter, the decision to buy such a large number of shares appears to be motivated by his and his followers’ desire to see change on the platform.

Musk’s new position as majority shareholder may allow him to implement those changes. As an example of Twitter shareholders’ power, they were able to persuade, and possibly even force, former CEO Jack Dorsey to resign in November 2021.

What Musk has plans for, however, is anyone’s guess. Some have ideas, others have hopes.

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