Two weeks after making a surprising bid on the social media platform, billionaire Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion has now been approved by the board.
When making the bid, Elon Musk, who has an estimated worth of $273.6 billion, said that Twitter had “tremendous potential” to unlock after calling for a number of changes to the site, including relaxing content restrictions and getting tougher on fake accounts.
According to Forbes magazine, Elon Musk is already the richest person in the world due to his share in Tesla and his position running the aerospace company SpaceX.
In a tweet announcing the deal, he said, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.
I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spambots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
The social media platform has faced scrutiny in the last few years and regulators have increased the pressure to reduce misinformation on the platform.
However, after banning US President Donald Trump’s high-profile account last year, Elon Musk commented, “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech.”
Elon Musk also has a controversial history on Twitter. In 2018, he was accused of misleading Tesla investors with his tweets, and in 2019, he faced a defamation lawsuit.
But, shortly before the deal was announced, he tweeted, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter because that is what free speech means.”
It’s expected that the deal will close later this year. Then, Twitter shares will be listed and the company will become private.