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Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, is all over the news for his plans to overhaul the newly-acquired company.
His biggest move has been to oust the board of directors and name himself Twitter’s “sole director.”
According to a company filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, both Bret Taylor, former chairman of the board, and Parag Agrawal, former chief executive, are two of the nine directors who were fired.
Musk, a long-time user of Twitter, watched as the company censored and blocked stories and users and decided he needed to do something about it.
Musk tweeted, “The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”
He followed up his tweet to reassure those concerned about allowing free speech on the platform by saying, “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hell-scape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”
It has been reported that Musk plans to lay off anywhere from 25-75% of the social media company’s employees.
He feels that the workforce is unnecessarily large and also wants to weed out “its strong left-wing bias.”
Twitter employees have been in meltdown mode since the takeover. They are trying to push back against Musk’s proposed changes and passed around an open letter denouncing his intentions to scale back the number of staffers.
“A threat of this magnitude is reckless, undermines our users’ and customers’ trust in our platform, and is a transparent act of worker intimidation,” they wrote.
They also made some demands from their new boss, one being that he does not discriminate based on political beliefs. They added, “We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires.”
The day that Musk’s Twitter deal closed, the billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia announced his plan to roll over his $1.9bn shares, making him the company’s biggest shareholder after Musk.
This caught the attention of some politicians in Congress. Democrat Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut voiced his opinion that the move is a potential national security concern.
He has since requested an investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment into the national security implications of the prince’s investment in Twitter.
“We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in repressing political speech and impacting US politics, are now the second-largest owner of a major social media platform,” the senator tweeted.
“There is a clear national security issue at stake and [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] should do a review.”
Musk has owned Twitter for just about a week and concerns are coming from every direction.
Do we have to worry about national security as we do with TikTok? Is he going to fire most of the company’s employees? Will leftists survive the change to an actual free speech platform?
Time will tell.