Free speech advocate Elon Musk has bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter, according to a regulatory filing published Monday by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The stake makes Musk Twitter’s largest shareholder as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey holds just 2.25%.
In recent days, Musk — founder, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla, CEO and Chief Engineer at SpaceX, founder of The Boring Company, and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI — criticized the social network for stifling free speech and talked about creating a rival platform.
Ariel Zilber for The New York Post:
An SEC filing revealed on Monday that Musk — the world’s richest person with a fortune of more than $287 billion, according to Forbes — bought some 73.5 million shares of the company, which are worth an estimated $2.89 billion.
News of the acquisition sent shares of Twitter soaring by more than 25% in pre-market trading on Monday.
Musk has been raising questions about the ability to communicate freely on Twitter, tweeting last month about free speech and the social media platform.
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.
What should be done? https://t.co/aPS9ycji37
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
Am giving serious thought to this
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2022
Tech giants like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Amazon have been accused by some conservatives and free speech advocates of banning users with unpopular views.
Then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said last year that his company erred when it censored a New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the weeks leading up to the presidential election.