Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and a major social media influencer, is making news this week by triggering people to call for President Donald J. Trump to be reinstated on social media, and bring his “mean- tweets”back to Twitter, where Trump enjoyed a massive following of supporters and often made news go viral from his account.
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Musk now has even more significant influence, on the company than ever before, making talking heads wonder if Trump’s comeback for iconic “means tweeting” -that upset the left and the Never Trumpers- so much- is in our cards.
“Elon Musk has become one of the largest shareholders in social media giant Twitter after a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission showed he holds 9.2 percent of a stake in the company,” the Post Millenial reported on Monday.
The filing on Monday from the CEO was signed by Musk, dated Monday, April 4. According to the Financial Times, musk has not made a statement about the stake he holds in the company.
Twitter stock rose 23 percent in reaction to the news. The filing, according to Reuters, showed that Musk owns 73.5 million Twitter shares, valuing his passive stake in the company at up to $2.9 billion based on the stock’s Friday close.
The shares are held by the Elon Musk Revocable Trust, of which he is the sole trustee.
Musk, a prolific user of Twitter, has over 80 million followers on the site since joining in 2009 and has used the platform to make several announcements, including teasing a go-private deal for Tesla that landed him in regulatory scrutiny.
He, however, has been critical of the social media platform and its policies of late and has said the company is undermining democracy by failing to adhere to free speech principles,” the report added.
A Musk tweet that went viral and got a lot of positive feedback indicated that Musk was thinking of how to use his influence to push for more free speech- or at least Conservatives and people who defend America First hoped that is what was unfolding:
Over 2 million people voted in Musk’s poll, which found that 70% of users said they did not think Twitter protected free speech principles and rights.
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” the 50-year-old asked. “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” he asked, “Is a new platform needed?”
Journalist Any Ngo responded:
“Where Twitter censors views (or even factual statements) in contravene of the US First Amendment, it favors a partisan or leftist worldview. Democrat politicians know this, so they call in their connections to get content & people banned that hurts their side.
I was out of characters, but to clarify, I was referring to the principle of the First Amendment. We should be disturbed & outraged that American governments are offloading censorship they can’t legally do to Big Tech as a workaround to the First Amendment.”
Is a new platform needed?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
According to a Twitter press release, after almost a full year of outright censoring the sitting President of the United States, the company permanently banned and deleted Trump’s massive-long time account. They had a good reason to do so.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.
In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on the principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.
However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.
The below is a comprehensive analysis of our policy enforcement approach in this case.
On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump Tweeted:
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“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Shortly thereafter, the President Tweeted:
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
It is unclear if Musk will use his influence to reinstate Trump’s account or move everything to a different platform.