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Elon Musk has completed a $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter, a source familiar with the deal told CNN on Thursday.

Musk has fired CEO Parag Agrawal and two other executives, according to two people familiar with the decision. Twitter declined to comment.

The closing of the deal removes a cloud of uncertainty that has hung over Twitter’s business, employees and shareholders for much of the year. After first agreeing to buy the company in April, Musk first cited concerns about the number of bots on the platform and later allegations filed by the company’s whistleblower to get out of the deal. I spent many months.

By completing the deal, Musk and Twitter avoided a trial originally scheduled to take place earlier this month. But the acquisition of Musk and the immediate dismissal of some of its executives raises many new questions about the future of social media platforms and the many segments of society affected by them. Musk also fired his CFO Ned Segal and policy chief Vijaya Gadde on Thursday, according to two of his sources.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal were among those fired after Elon Musk completed the deal to acquire Twitter.

Musk said he plans to rethink Twitter’s content moderation policy to achieve a more maximalist approach to “free speech.” The billionaire also said he disagrees with Twitter’s practice of permanently banning those who repeatedly break its rules, increasing the chances that many previously banned and controversial users will reappear on the platform.

Perhaps most immediately, many will be watching to see how quickly Musk can get back on the platform, as former President Donald Trump has previously said. Depending on the timing, a move like this could have a big impact on the upcoming US midterm elections and his 2024 presidential election.

By taking these steps, Musk single-handedly turned the media and political ecosystem upside down, reshaping public discourse online, and largely responded to complaints about bans and restrictions on Twitter and other mainstream services. It could confuse the nascent realm of conservative-leaning social media properties that have emerged in recent years.

Earlier this week, Musk visited Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters to meet with employees. He also posted an open letter to advertisers on Twitter, saying he didn’t want the platform to become a “free hell where whatever you say has no consequences”.

The acquisition also promises to expand Musk’s influence. Billionaires already own, oversee, or hold significant stakes in companies that are developing experimental ventures such as cars, rockets, robots, satellite internet, and even brain implants. Today, he manages social his media his platform that shapes the way hundreds of millions of people communicate and get news.

Even on Twitter, known for some degree of turmoil in its history, the months-long deal process with Musk has been tumultuous.

Musk, a prominent and controversial Twitter user, became involved with the company earlier this year when he acquired a stake of over 9% in the company. After Musk announced that he had become Twitter’s largest shareholder, he accepted and declined an offer to join the company’s board of directors.

Musk then offered to buy Twitter outright for a hefty premium, threatening a hostile takeover and signing a “seller-friendly” deal to buy the company that included waiving due diligence.

“This is not a way to make money,” Musk said in an interview on stage shortly after making the offer to buy Twitter. “My strong intuition is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is critically important to the future of civilization.”

Musk also pledged to “beat spam bots or die.” This refers to fake and fraudulent accounts that are especially frequently used in his tweets and replies to tweets of other users with large followings on the platform.

However, within weeks of the deal, Musk began expressing concerns about the same fake and spam accounts prevalent on Twitter, eventually seeking to end the deal.

Earlier this week, Musk visited Twitter's San Francisco headquarters to meet with employees before the acquisition was completed.

Twitter sued Musk, alleging he used the bot’s argument as an excuse to get out of a deal that developed buyer remorse. In the weeks since the deal was announced, many stock markets, including social media companies, have fallen amid rising inflation and fears of a looming recession. The recession has hit Tesla, and in turn, Musk’s personal net worth.

Legal experts widely believed Twitter had a strong foundation to enforce the deal in court. Two weeks before his controversial legal battle went to trial, Musk said he would eventually go ahead with the deal on its original terms. As the parties negotiated, Mr. Musk’s lawyer asked a judge to stay the proceedings, prompting a backlash from Twitter, who feared Mr. Musk would not keep his promise to complete the deal.

In a sharp response, a lawyer on Twitter wrote that Musk was about to close the deal, writing, “Now, on the eve of the trial, the defendants are finally declaring that they intend to close.” please,” they say.

Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathleen St. McCormick gave the parties until 5 p.m.

Now that the drama of the deal has settled, all eyes are on Musk’s plans for Twitter.

In addition to the dismissal of Twitter’s CEO and other executives, Musk’s acquisition also marks some degree of influence over the company from founder Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO in November and left the board in May. May bring recovery. Dorsey has publicly said he will not return to Twitter, but he has privately discussed the acquisition with Musk and offered advice.

Musk also reportedly told prospective investors in the deal that it plans to eliminate nearly 75% of the company’s staff in a move that could disrupt every aspect of how Twitter operates. I’m here. He previously said in a personal text with a friend about the deal that was revealed in court filings. did not rule out the possibility of layoffs in a phone call with an employee of

Among the changes Musk could make to Twitter include restoring former President Donald Trump's account, which was banned from the platform after the Jan. 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol.

Under Musk, Twitter may have no use for much of its existing staff. Musk has repeatedly clarified that it will review Twitter’s content moderation policies to strengthen what it calls “free speech,” which will help the company deal with misinformation and harassment over the years, and make “more Efforts you’ve made to create a “healthy” conversation can be undermined.

Such a move could have ripple effects in the social media world as well. Twitter, though smaller than many of its social media rivals, has served as a model for how the industry handles problematic content. For example, when he first banned then-President Trump after the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol.

And in recent years, several alternative social networks have been launched primarily targeting conservatives who claim that mainstream services unduly restrict speech. Those services include Trump’s Truth Social and Parler, which Kanye West said he recently acquired. It’s unclear how far Musk will be able to live up to his free speech dreams, but if his moderation policies were to ease existing content, Twitter, which offers a much larger audience, would effectively flee to smaller users. It may become a more attractive service for some users who have been fringe service. (However, Musk could face regulatory issues, especially in Europe, depending on how far he goes to ease content restrictions.)

Aside from content moderation, Musk recently proposed that Twitter would become part of an “everything” app called X, as it would enable end-to-end encryption for Twitter’s direct messaging capabilities. So far, we’ve thrown a wide range of other possible changes to the platform. Perhaps in the style of the popular Chinese app WeChat.

Despite months of attempts to get away from the company’s acquisition and his own recent remarks that he’s “obviously overpaying,” Musk has tried to sound optimistic about Twitter’s potential.

“The long-term potential of Twitter, in my view, is orders of magnitude greater than its current value,” he said on Tesla’s earnings conference call last week.

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