Twitter is owned by Elon Musk. We all knew it was coming (except for Elon, who fought it tooth and nail), but it’s finally here, so let’s catch you up on the whirlwind that was the new “Chief Twit’s” ascension.
Elon makes a visual pun with plumbing
The week began with Elon Musk paying a visit to Twitter HQ on the eve of the official deal close, as we now know. He took advantage of the opportunity to make an admittedly amusing visual pun about the phrase “let that sink in,” but while carrying a sink and literally having Twitter let him and that sink in.
Musk’s strong suit is wacky chaotic energy, so this is expected behavior, even if you can’t imagine any other executive — say, Tim Cook — carrying large porcelain objects into office lobbies to announce an acquisition close.
Elon tries to appease advertisers
Following a report that some advertisers may boycott Twitter if Elon lifts Donald Trump’s permanent ban, Musk posts an extended missive to advertisers explaining his reasoning (“I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love” is exquisite) and assuring them that it will not “become a free-for-all hellscape” under his rule.
Elon closes the deal
Against the odds, Elon does not reveal the deal close at 4:20 PM PT, but rather the news first trickles out before exploding with near-simultaneous reports across all major outlets on Thursday at around 6 PM PT.
That means he beat Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen McCormick’s deadline, which was today, October 28. The deadline was set as a result of the court case that arose as a result of Elon’s attempt to get out of the deal, in which he floated multiple defenses in an attempt to get out of his $44 billion commitment.
Elon fires leadership
When Musk took over, he wasted no time in cleaning house, firing CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Regal, general counsel Sean Edgett, and head of legal, trust, and safety Vijaya Gadde almost simultaneously.
There was clearly no love lost between Musk and Agrawal. And he’d previously been chastised for criticizing Gadde, which essentially resulted in her being targeted by his sycophantic troll army. Plus, I’m sure Twitter’s top legal brass wasn’t thrilled with the outcome of that piece of litigation that the deal helped him avoid.
Elon to crown himself CEO
Early reports suggested Elon might want to position himself as Twitter’s next CEO, adding a third (fourth? who knows) CEO title to his current LinkedIn profile. That appears to be the case, as reports shortly after the deal state that he will assume power.
It appears that he will do so as a temporary measure until he determines who should fill the seat long-term. Perhaps one of his cronies will be chosen from the message history revealed during the Twitter litigation’s discovery process.
NYSE sets date for Twitter de-list
Twitter will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange on November 8th. This marks the end of its public company tenure, which began with its IPO in November 2013.
Musk is taking it private through his financing vehicle X Holdings I, Inc., which is now the sole owner of the entire company.
EU welcomes Elon to regulation hell
Elon’s first official acknowledgement of his new toy on Twitter following the deal’s close was simply “the bird is freed.” Thierry Breton, European Commission Internet Market Commissioner, quickly responded with a reminder that freedom isn’t free.
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Notably, Breton has previously met with Musk in person and even recorded a video in which he claims to have explained the EU’s Digital Services Act to Musk, and Musk basically says he agrees with everything in it.
Elon discourses with some trolls
Musk hasn’t said much on Twitter since the takeover, but he has responded to a couple of users who have previously complained about platform censorship. One is a user known as “catturd2,” who claims to be shadowbanned and tweets misinformation about COVID, among other things. The other is Canada Proud, a right-wing propagandist organization that also spreads COVID misinformation and focuses on criticizing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
That’s all for now, but there will be plenty more, so stay tuned. This post will be updated as more information becomes available throughout the day and beyond.