This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 26, 2022:
In his announcement on Twitter that he was taking the company private, Elon Musk revealed his plans:
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 spam bots, 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 first thing Musk will do, once the transaction has been completed, is to cut the board members’ salaries to zero. He warned them in this Tweet just days earlier:
Board salary will be $0 if my bid succeeds, so that’s $3M/year saved right there.
The transaction will take months to close, thanks for the need to gain approval from regulatory agencies and the shareholders.
But not from the board. After reflecting on Musk’s original offer, and the legal consequences if it moved ahead with its “poison pill” strategy, it folded like a Hohner accordion. The board was suddenly unanimous in approving Musk’s original offer. Wrote board chairman Bret Tayler:
The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing.
The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.
Musk had boxed them in, using his own Twitter account to accomplish his purpose. On April 14, he reminded them of their fiduciary responsibilities:
If the current Twitter board takes actions contrary to shareholder interests, they would be breaching their fiduciary duty.
The liability they would thereby assume would be titanic in scale….
Taking Twitter private at $54.20 [per share] should be up to the shareholders, not the board.
Those shareholders have seen their Twitter stock holdings drop from $80 per share in February 2021 to just over $30 a share a year later. The $54 bid will likely persuade the vast majority of them to agree to Musk’s buyout offer.
Regulatory approval will take longer, but the purchase is scheduled to close before the end of the year.
That will allow disaffected Twitter employees to find other work. They would chafe under Musk’s new open-algorithm policy where users can see exactly where they stand.
Musk is likely to uncover secrets being hidden successfully from shareholders, regulators, and the public until now. A techie named Sundance, writing at The Last Refuge, speculated as to what one of those secrets might be:
I share this perspective having spent thousands of hours in the past several years deep in the weeds of tech operating systems, communication platforms, and the issue of simultaneous users. What Twitter represents, and what Musk is attempting, is not what most would think.
In the big picture of tech platforms, Twitter, as an operating model, is a massive high-user commenting system.
Twitter is not a platform built around a website; Twitter is a platform for comments and discussion that operates in the sphere of social media. As a consequence, the technology and data processing required to operate the platform does not have an economy of scale.
There is no business model where Twitter is financially viable to operate…. UNLESS the tech architecture under the platform was subsidized.
In my opinion, there is only one technological system and entity that could possibly underwrite the cost of Twitter to operate. That entity is the United States Government.
If Sundance is correct, then Musk may uncover the greatest secret of all: The U.S. government has infiltrated Twitter, and used it to punish a sitting president of the United States by permanently removing him from the platform.
Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton agrees that Musk is likely to uncover many such secrets: “Twitter has been lying to shareholders, regulators, and Congress, about its censorship abuses. [It’s no wonder] the [board had] a keen interest in keeping Elon Musk from further exposing this fraud.”
So does Matt Vespa. Writing for Townhall, Vespa noted:
[Musk] did a flank march and outmaneuvered the Left who for years enjoyed censoring and banning conservatives with impunity. We all knew these Silicon Valley types were left-wing and biased. It entered a new and disturbing phase during the 2016 and 2020 elections.
Twitter literally censored The New York Post from reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop. They intervened to help Joe Biden win the election.
Hopefully Musk means what he says about the importance of free speech and that, once in control, he’ll fumigate Twitter and turn it into a legitimate public forum where free speech is enjoyed and encouraged on issues of the day.