• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Twitter’s Unusual Acquisition by Elon Musk: From Refusal to Ban Accounts to Commitment to Free Speech


Feb 12, 2024
Book suggests that tracking Musk’s private jet may have caused a Twitter takeover

In January 2022, Elon Musk made a decision to buy shares in Twitter after an incident where he complained to ex-Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about an account that tracked his private jet. According to Kurt Wagner’s book “Battle for the Bird”, Agrawal refused to ban the account, leading Musk to start building a stake in Twitter. By April, Musk had become the biggest shareholder of Twitter, holding a 9.2% stake.

In the same month, Musk made an offer to buy Twitter at $54.20 a share, valuing the company at about $44 billion. However, the acquisition was not finalized until October following a series of dramatic events. After the acquisition was completed, Musk wrote in a post that he would not ban the account tracking his jet because of his commitment to free speech.

Despite this, a month later, the account did get banned, much to the surprise of its owner Jack Sweeney who moved on to Meta’s Threads app and started using it under @ElonJetNextDay handle which runs an account @ElonJetNextDay on X that tracks and posts about Musk’s jet 24 hours after its movements. Both Musk and Agrawal did not respond immediately to requests for comment from Business Insider at first but eventually spoke out about their views on social media regulation and censorship during interviews with other publications like The Verge and TechCrunch.

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