Elon Musk’s on again, off again relationship with Twitter is finally on, as he recently closed the deal to acquire Twitter for $44B, or $54.20 a share. And The New York Stock Exchange has corroborated that Twitter is no longer a publicly traded company.


Moving in on day one, Musk fired some of Twitter’s top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, chief legal officer Vijaua Gadde and general counsel Sam Edgett. “The last 5 years have been the most fulfilling of my career,” Segal said. “The people, the potential, and the importance of Twitter. The shifts in technology, politics, culture. This will be hard to beat.”

“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” Musk tweeted. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.” Although Musk claims there will be no content moderation until after a committee is formed to investigate these issues, even the first few days with him at the helm show a lot of differences on the platform.

The relationship between Twitter and Musk began in January when he first invested in the company. By March he was the primary shareholder. Then began a series of negotiations, misfires, and questions for the Tesla executive. After he and Twitter reached an initial agreement, Musk tried to terminate the contract in July, saying that Twitter was too filled with spam accounts. Twitter countered with a lawsuit, and the judge gave Musk a strict deadline to either go ahead with the acquisition of Twitter, or a trial. Clearly, Musk picked Twitter.

Musk is already drawing criticism from the public because he is instituting an $8 verification fee each month. Along with the blue check, users would enjoy fewer ads, the feature of posting long form video, and priority in searching. This is up from the $4.99 current price, but not as much as some speculation that it would be $20. There is also concern that paying to be verified could lead to fake accounts or bots who would be impersonating celebrities, government officials, and the like. This could lead to false stories, misinformation, and chaos.

“The charge for being verified on Twitter is one of a number of controversies facing Musk in the days after he took over the platform. Others include the firing of several top executives, reports that he plans to lay-off 25% of the workforce, and a rise in hateful content on the site.” There is certainly plenty of change in a short amount of time, and experts wonder how far these changes will go.

According to Adnan Zai, Advisor to Berkeley Capital, “When privatization of media goes through and is in the hands of a single influential figure…you always end with a politicized narrative. This will be no different.”There is no doubt that politics will creep into a platform such as Twitter, and rightfully so. But the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not the new owner will do his due diligence in spreading the truth, rather than a handful of hateful rhetoric.