On Thursday, Elon Musk finalized a deal with Twitter to take over the company for roughly $44 billion.
Before the ink could dry on the contract, Musk immediately terminated three top executives at the company, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety.
Gadde has remained a controversial figure in the social media world since her involvement in the historic decision to oust former President Donald Trump from Twitter following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Musk has publicly called the decision “flat-out stupid,” while declaring that he will lift the ban on Trump as soon as he acquires the company.
Musk has been outspoken about the importance of social media companies protecting “free speech,” which seems to be one of the major factors motivating his acquisition of the social media giant.
“For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally,” Musk tweeted on April 27.
For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2022
Musk alarmed many at Twitter when he told investors that he believes the company is overstaffed, announcing plans to lay off about 75% of the company’s workforce. That would bring the company’s staff down to 2,000 workers, a move that some say could expose Twitter to issues with moderation and security.
Angelo Carusone, president of left-wing media watchdog Media Matters, said that Musk’s vision for Twitter could have a similar influence as the formation of Fox news, which he said had a “distorting effect” on U.S. media.
Bridget Todd, communications director of the feminist advocacy organization UltraViolet, wrote in an Oct. 4 statement that Musk’s moves could devastate the American people.
“Elon Musk is about to rip open Pandora’s box and flood the internet once again with hate, misogyny, racism, and conspiracy theories,” said Todd. “We should all be terrified.”
Now that Musk has finalized the deal with Twitter, locking in the transaction at $54.20 per share, he will take the company private. Musk has said that he will use the company in conjunction with efforts to create an app known as “X,” which he calls “the everything app.”