Billionaire Elon Musk has not sold part of his newly-acquired stake in Twitter, he confirmed on Wednesday, while insiders reportedly voice concerns over the platform’s future as Musk, who is an advocate of “free speech” and has a history of spreading misinformation, is now its largest shareholder and a board member.
Here are some key facts
Twitter revealed that Musk had approximately 73.1 Million shares and a 9.1% share in the company, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing.
It was just 400,000 shares less than the number in the company’s filing from the day before. The filing stated that Musk owned a 9.2% stake. This led some to wonder if Musk had already sold shares.
On Wednesday, Musk confirmed that “no sale took place,” describing the discrepancy as a mistake on the initial filing.
The new disclosure also marked an update to Musk’s status as an investor—having changed from a passive shareholder to a more active board member—at the company, something insiders fear could influence policy on issues like content moderation and whether users are banned.
While Twitter has said neither its board nor shareholders determine company rules and policies, employees told Reuters it’s “hard to believe” the board doesn’t have an influence.
Musk’s past use of Twitter to criticize and spread misinformation could hinder efforts to improve Twitter, and to combat harmful content and abuse on the platform.
The Key Background
Musk uses Twitter extensively and has faced controversy for his frequent use. Musk denied that the SEC sued him in 2018 over tweets it claimed were misleading or false. As part of a settlement, many of Musk’s tweets about the company must be vetted by lawyers. He has also been (unsuccessfully) sued by a British cave explorer for defamation after he called him a “pedo guy” on the platform. Musk is also a recent addition. hintedAt building a platform rival to the one we have and being openly critical about it. questioningHow the company treats speech.
$219 billion. That’s how much SME estimates Musk is worth, making him the world’s richest person. An estimated $68 Billion more than Musk was one year ago. This is based on the stock market and foreign exchange rates as of March 11, 2022.
Some Twitter workers fear Elon Musk’s arrival (Reuters).
Twitter’s New CEO Gets His First Public Challenge: Elon Musk (SME)