As Elon Musk’s Twitter deal comes to a close, the self-anointed “Chief Twit” posted an open letter to advertisers promising that the social media platform won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape” once he officially takes the reins.
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” the sink toter wrote.
“There is currently a 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.”
Musk then accused “much of traditional media” for fueling “those polarized extremes” in “the relentless pursuit of clicks.” He added that he didn’t buy Twitter for a reported $44 billion for money but because he wanted to “help humanity, whom I love.”
It’s unclear what Musk’s Day One plans are at Twitter (besides reportedly firing 75 percent of its workforce), but there are growing concerns (likely among advertisers, to whom this open letter was written) that he would welcome back some of the site’s most notorious banned users — like former president Donald Trump — in addition to peddling Putin propaganda.
While not exactly assuaging those fears, Musk told advertisers, “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.”
Musk’s looming acquisition of Twitter caps off a surreal (or maybe quotidian, by Musk’s standards) several months of extremely online dealmaking. The deal was first struck back in April. After only a few weeks — and a downturn in the market — Musk attempted to put the deal on hold, citing complaints about the number of spam accounts on the platform.
Musk proceeded to ramp up his complaints, alleging that Twitter was not only underreporting the number of bots and spam accounts but wasn’t letting him properly evaluate the situation. He officially filed to back out of the deal in July, which prompted Twitter to sue. After a few months of court filings, Musk finally came around at the beginning of October.