Elon Musk Buys Twitter

Billionaire and Tesla company owner Elon Musk has recently bought the social media platform Twitter.

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Fox Business

Billionaire and Tesla company owner Elon Musk has recently bought the social media platform Twitter.

According to Forbes billionaires list, Elon Musk is the richest person in the world with a net worth of $245.2 billion. He owns countless companies including, SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity and Tesla Energy, Neuralink, the Boring Company, and now Twitter. Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion on April 25. This has left many dumbfounded at his ability to buy such a large company seemingly so easily and what this means for the future. 

Twitter is a social media platform with 76.9 million users in the US. Though it is arguably one of the smaller social media companies, it has had a relatively large impact on politics. 

The fact that someone could purchase Twitter so easily has raised some alarm, “It was crazy that one person would be able to buy something for that much money,” said Lucy Lohman, sophomore. 

There have been times in American history where a few select wealthy individuals controlled nearly all news sources. In the 1920s-30s Randolph William Hearst owned a nationwide ring of 28 major newspapers. Many credit him with playing a large part in starting the Spanish-American War, famously saying, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”  

Jet Heer, a leading journalist of the time said, “For Hearst, news was not reporting the facts. News was creating history, making history. You don’t report history. You’re a participant in history.” 

Similarly to Musk, Heart was not only a journalist but also a powerful business owner and was able to use his control of news to advantage his business interests. Though Hearst’s experience is very different to Musk’s situation, there are also clear parallels. The purchase of Twitter has only highlighted the power of Musk and those similar to him.  

Though Twitter is not officially a news source, According to Pew Research Center, over ⅔ of Twitter’s US users say it is an important or the most important news source and it is widely agreed that Twitter played a large role in the January 6th attack on the US capitol. Twitter has gotten heat from those saying it allows, and in some ways promotes, the spread of misinformation and others saying that the censorship that does exist on Twitter is too much and infringes on freedom of speech. Elon Musk is of the latter opinion and claims that he bought Twitter to protect freedom of speech and intends on greatly loosening censorship on the platform. 

However, Musk’s numerous other business ventures along with his proven unpredictability has left many with concerns of how he will end up using the power afforded him by owning Twitter. 

“It makes you see how much power people like Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, etc. have. If they wanted to, they could take over so much stuff. Especially when you mix in the complexity and ethics of social media, it’s kind of scary,” said an anonymous individual. 

According to Pew Research the middle class is shrinking and the wage gap is widening. The US has 735 billionaires that control $4.7 trillion and 22 million millionaires (about the population of Florida). The top 1% controls more money than the bottom 50% combined according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve

Many have very little faith in Musk and those in similar positions, to handle their power responsibly.

I have no faith in [Musk’s} ability to handle [Twitter] responsibly.”

— Ridley Hazeltine

“I’m angry that [Musk] has the power and money to just [buy Twitter], I have no faith in [Musk’s} ability to handle [Twitter] responsibly,” said Ridley Hazeltine, sophomore. 

This news is shocking too many and many question whether Musk made the right call by buying this social media platform. Only time will tell and the results are bound to be unexpected.