Elon Musk has become the largest shareholder of the Twitter social network after taking 9.2% of the shares, the company has reported in a communication sent to the US securities regulator. The news has triggered the share price of the social network by 25% at the opening of the Nasdaq, the US stock market index for technology companies. Musk has resigned for the moment to enter the board of directors of Twitter.
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The package of shares acquired by the businessman quadruples the 2.25% held by its founder, Jack Dorsey, who recently left the management of the social network to focus on his financial technology company. The approximate market price of that 9.2% of Twitter shares is around 2.9 billion euros, although the figures of the agreement that Musk has reached for its acquisition have not been made public.
In recent days Musk had made several comments about freedom of expression on social networks. Among other movements, he conducted a survey among his followers asking if Twitter respects the freedoms of its users or not: more than two million members responded and 70% gave a negative opinion. This had triggered rumors about his intentions to launch an alternative platform to Twitter, but finally Musk has decided to become the largest shareholder of this social network.
“Freedom of expression is essential for a democracy to work. Do you think that Twitter rigorously respects this principle?” asked the founder of Paypal, Tesla or SpaceX. “The consequences of this survey will be important. Please vote carefully,” he warned.
In the past, the tycoon has been close to the denunciations promoted by Donald Trump and the American extreme right, which assure that the majority social networks exercise “censorship” on their users. Trump’s profiles remain blocked on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube after he encouraged the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021 in Washington, when a mob forced its way into the Capitol to protest the alleged electoral “rigging” that the former president defends The Republican leader has not been able to offer any consistent evidence that such manipulation has occurred.
Musk, who has 80 million followers on Twitter, is also known for being able to alter stock valuations with a simple tweet, as well as the demand for cryptocurrencies.