On October 28, billionaire Elon Musk, who is chief executive at Tesla and SpaceX, completed the acquisition of the microblogging site Twitter for $46.5 billion. In a now iconic moment, Musk made a splashy entrance at Twitter HQ in San Francisco when he walked in with a sink in hand. He captioned the video post: “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!”
Before the takeover, Musk shared his reasons for acquiring Twitter in a post to reassure advertisers it will stay a safe place for brands, amid fears that extremist voices and problematic and polarising accounts would be restored.
It seems his post was prompted by a report earlier in the week in The Wall Street Journal which had suggested advertisers considered the return of Donald Trump to the site a “red line”.
Musk wrote: “The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilisation to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”
He added: “That is why I bought Twitter. I didn’t do it because it would be easy. I didn’t do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love.”
At the time of writing this post, he did not legally own Twitter.
In addition to creating a video-op with the sink stunt, Musk also changed his Twitter handle to “Chief Twit”.
Musk went on to say in his tweet: “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society … That said, Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!"
“In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”
He added: “Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise. To everyone who has partnered with us, I thank you. Let us build something extraordinary together.”
Musk has been aggressively vocal about Twitter's fundamental principles and policies regarding advertisers.
The Guardian highlighted a now deleted tweet Musk sent in April, just after his first offer to buy Twitter. Musk wrote that his plans for the platform included “no ads”. He stated: “The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive.”