Elon Musk informed Twitter that he is terminating his agreement to purchase the company. Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, issued the following statement in response:
From the outset, Elon Musk’s attempt to take over Twitter was about advancing his own red-pilled ideological agenda. He was explicit about his intentions, which is why right-wing extremists celebrated the news.
If Musk was to acquire Twitter and follow through with even a fraction of what he had promised to do, Twitter would become a supercharged engine of radicalization.
The seeds of this implosion were sowed months ago when Musk, reveling in right-wing media attention, made it clear that he would roll back Twitter’s community standards and safety guidelines, which would turn the platform into a fever swamp of dangerous conspiracy theories, partisan chicanery, and white supremacist radicalization.
With the announcement today that Musk is bailing on the deal, this dark future is now one step closer to being prevented.
Despite what Musk may claim, this deal isn’t ending because of Twitter bots or spam accounts. This deal is collapsing because of Elon Musk’s own erratic behavior, embrace of extremists, and bad business decisions.
Advertisers took notice, largely as the result of pressure from activists and community leaders, and made it clear they would not pay for Musk’s ideological fantasy. This is a critical win in the fight against disinformation online — one that we should all celebrate.
Twitter shareholders, on the other hand, should be furious. The simple fact is that Twitter’s board of directors and executive leadership team acted irresponsibly and incompetently. They got into bed with a madman and significantly harmed shareholder value as a result.