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Selling Twitter to Elon Musk is good for investors. What about the public?

The Twitter situation shows how “we need to fundamentally change the approach to corporate governance,” said Palladino, associate professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts.

April 28, 2022 / 10:12 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Twitter is “the digital town square, where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” a triumphant Elon Musk proclaimed in announcing his deal to buy the social media platform.

In other words, Twitter is no ordinary corporation. It serves as something akin to a public utility, a unique global means of communication.

So should Twitter be governed like a conventional public company, with a board of directors focused primarily on reaping the greatest amount of money possible for shareholders, with little regard to the interests of other groups?

In the eyes of some influential business and legal experts, the answer is no. The company’s directors should have also evaluated the qualifications of Musk to serve as a responsible steward for a vital public communications channel — and, based on the public comments made by Twitter’s board of directors, there is no evidence that it did so.