Musk Says Twitter Buyout ‘Temporarily On Hold’

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Elon Musk is Time's 2021 Person of the Year

Elon Musk tweeted Friday morning, stating that his purchase of the company was “temporarily suspended” to verify the company’s claim about fake accounts comprising less than 5% of users.

Musk tweeted, “Twitter deal temporarily put on hold pending details supporting calculation spam/fake account do indeed represent less than 5% users,” linking to a Reuters article that Musk posted on Monday about a Twitter filing that estimated fake accounts.

Musk said in a tweet two hours later, “still committed to acquisition.”

Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and valued at $215billion, agreed in April to purchase Twitter for $44 billion. Musk must pay $1 billion if he wants to cancel the agreement according to the terms.

Pre-market trading saw Twitter shares drop by close to 20% following Musk’s tweet Friday morning. As of Friday, Musk had 92.7 million followers.

Musk previously called for free speech to be improved on Twitter and transparency in the company’s algorithms.

Musk stated that tweets could be promoted or degraded without any insight into the facts; a black-box algorithm promotes some things but not others; this could be very dangerous. He later added, “It won’t be perfect. However, I think it’s something we should have…the perception of speech as free and as open as reasonably possible.”

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