Elon Musk makes himself the largest stakeholder in Twitter. Dare we hope that he will take over that company and wrest it away from Emperor Klaus (Schwab)?
Elon Musk buys 9.2 percent Twitter stake
Of the sad history of Twitter as a company and platform, the less said the better. We all remember when they discontinued Donald J. Trump’s account. The reasons they gave for this act are absolutely specious, and Elon Musk said so at the time.
Last month Elon Musk ran a poll on the platform itself, asking users whether they felt that the platform rigidly adhered to the principle of freedom of speech. More than seventy percent of users voting in the poll said No.
Then he observed that
Twitter serves as the de facto public town square
and asserted that
Failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.
He asked his followers what someone should do about it.
As it turns out, he already had bought 9.2 percent of the company on March 14. The news broke only yesterday and exploded across financial and conventional “news” media. Kiplinger’s wondered openly whether he intended a coup d’état against the company.
Many users, some with very high profiles, have called on Elon Musk to reform the platform.
Yes, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) called for Elon to order the moderators to reinstate the Donald J. Trump account.
And in fact Elon Musk reached out to current CCO Parag Agarwal and said he would present some reform proposals.
Note: CNAV mentions criticism of Elon Musk’s acquisition and probable plans only to condemn it.
Hail the conquering hero
Now: what does all this mean, in terms of money or anything else? In fact, the company stock jumped 26 percent yesterday when the story broke. So Elon Musk has already made back what he spent.
His 9.2 percent stake wins him a board seat. So when he spoke of “working with” Parag Agarwal on company reforms, he spoke from a position of some authority.
And Mr. Agarwal knows this:
But when he next says that having a critic on the board will make it stronger in the long term, does he speak sincerely?
CNAV doubts it. This is polite boilerplate. Translation: put up your dukes, and let’s get ready to rumble.
As further evidence, CNAV cites this SEC filing by the company. Elon gets his board seat, all right – but he may not raise his stake to more than 14.9 percent of the company while he serves, and for ninety days after he steps down from the board.
If Elon accepts this offer, then he cannot pursue a hostile takeover.
But a grass roots takeover might still be possible. It requires those of us with his kind of money to spend, to buy, all together, a total of 35.2 percent of the company. That means spending at least $12 billion, or more. If perhaps two and a half million people spent about $5,300 to buy a hundred shares each (the smallest “even lot,”) and then gave Elon their proxies, he would have control.
What next for Twitter
Only time will tell. At the time of writing, Elon has not yet accepted that board seat. If he does, then he has only his power of persuasion to sway other board members to push for reforms.
At least one official at the company has decamped, saying he refuses to work with Musk. Would Twitter lose users? Perhaps – but it might regain the users it has already lost, either because:
- The moderators threw them off the platform, or
- They left in disgust at the treatment of others.
CNAV wonders whether Elon could restore the tweets of certain famous accounts the mods have suspended. Marjorie Taylor Greene owned one. So did a user who famously told Eric Swalwell that he was asking for civil war with his gun-control proposals. To which Swalwell infamously replied,
Good luck with that. The government has nukes.
To repeat a time-honored phrase from series television, stay tuned.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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