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What Does It Mean that Elon Musk Owns 9.2% of Twitter Now?

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | April 4, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | April 4, 2022 |


Elon Musk has bought 9.2 percent of Twitter’s shares, worth around $3 billion. While that is not enough shares to allow him to do as he pleases with the social platform, he will immediately become a major force and voice on the platform that is otherwise owned largely by investment companies.

What does this mean? I suspect the first thought many of you had was: Is Twitter going to let Donald Trump back on the platform? Because that would be ruinous. He may have hinted at where his head is at on this issue a few weeks ago:

At the time, after 70 percent of his followers voted no, Musk followed up by suggesting that he was looking into creating his own social media platform. He just bought 9 percent of Twitter, instead, and may have paved the way for not only an active role in Twitter policies but potentially a future buyout.

Musk calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” which extended as far as allowing Russian state media to air in Ukraine over his Starlink internet satellites.

The problem with “free speech absolutism” on a social media platform, however, is that it could be flooded, even more so, with misinformation, disinformation, spam, porn, harassment, death threats, and/or insurrection plans. This is what’s happened to some of the right-wing social media upstarts. It would make Twitter unusable, which would crater its value, and while that may not mean a lot to Musk and his $3 billion investment, the other 91 percent of Twitter shareholders might not appreciate it (although, the price of the stock has apparently gone up 25% pre-market in the wake of this news).

Twitter had problems enough before Musk came aboard. If Musk has his say, it’ll basically become Joe Rogan: The Social Media Platform. Ultimately, I don’t know if he’ll have the power to bring back Trump in the short term, but it’s certainly what MAGA Twitter is hoping for this morning.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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