Twitter’s share price was up over 25 percent in pre-market trading on the news. CNBC announced that Musk’s Twitter stocks were worth $2.89 billion based on Friday’s closing price and Musk’s shares “could lead to some sort of buyout.”
Amid the purchase, Musk had been publicly calling into question Twitter’s approach to free speech via a poll conducted on his Twitter account on March 25th. “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” the CEO asked, before noting in a follow-up tweet that “the consequences of this poll will be important.”
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,” Musk tweeted the following day, before publicly asking whether a “new platform” is needed. Given that Musk purchased his stake in Twitter on March 14th, it appears as though these comments came after his decision to buy a stake.
Earlier in the month, Musk said he was a “free speech absolutist” after he claimed Starlink had been told by some governments to block access to Russian news sources. “We will not do so unless at gunpoint,” he said.