After the current richest person in the world, Elon Musk, offered to buy 100 percent of Twitter, many of Twitter’s staff has concerns about the future of the social network. In a 25-minute Q&A session with employees yesterday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told employees that the company was still evaluating the USD 43 billion offer.
In the session, Twitter employees bluntly stated their thoughts. One employee said that Musk’s aggressive acquisition bid “felt like a hostage situation”. Others remarked that they felt like they were being left in the dark about what was really going on.
“The culture here and this platform deserves to be protected, and I hope the Board does the brave thing and refuses the offer. Our democracy is more important than a payout… I hope the Board agrees,” said one Twitter employee.
After Musk offered the buyout, he made sure to let people know what he was planning to do with the platform. He tweeted a letter on Thursday, saying that he thinks that “Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company”.
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy. However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form… Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it,” Musk wrote.
Twitter has previously suspended users like Donald Trump for “severe violations”. Besides being flagged for inaccurate information, his tweets also served as “encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts”. Elon Musk’s recent remarks about “bringing back free speech” has brought out Trump supporters to support Musk’s potential buyout, hoping that Musk would “reinstate Donald Trump’s Twitter account“.
If Twitter does not accept his offer, Musk said he “would need to reconsider my position as shareholder”. And that could prove problematic for the social media company because until recently, Musk was Twitter’s largest single shareholder—owning over 73 million shares, or about 9.1% of the company according to reports.
Agrawal didn’t say when the board would have an answer to Musk’s offer, but he said that the board would follow a “rigorous process” and make a decision “in the best interest of our shareholders”. There’s word that the platform is not interested in Musk’s offer, and may use a “poison pill” strategy to prevent him from attempting a hostile takeover. It’s not a terrible idea, considering that Musk told an audience at TED that he had a “plan B” if Twitter rejects him.
In the same TED talk, Musk also described how he thinks Twitter’s edit button should work. However, it doesn’t seem like he thought it through—because there are plenty of people who pointed out that having an edit button might be a really bad idea.