The World Reacts To Elon Musk Buying Twitter

Lo and behold, Elon Musk is about to become the new owner of Twitter. As of 2:50 PM Eastern Time today, the SpaceX and Tesla mogul announced an early-stage acquisition of the now privately-held Twitter at roughly $44 billion, and the Internet immediately erupted in response. Leading up to the buyout, Reuters reported on Musk's tentative plans, heavily suggesting that the time was nigh for an impending Twitter takeover. Even during the early hours of the morning, Twitter and adjacent social media platforms like Reddit came to life with chaotic energy that wouldn't feel out of place during, say, a presidential election.

Now that Musk's Twitter buyout is on the path to success following a seemingly failed poison pill strategy by its board of directors, the speculative discourse has accelerated across the web. Public discussion about the acquisition has some users tweeting worries that a Musk-owned Twitter could mark the post-ban return of Donald Trump to the open-air discussions that set the oft-named "bird app" apart from competing networks, such as Facebook.

Simply put, Elon Musk has a poor track record with regard to how he manages his companies. Employee mistreatment is a well-documented trend at Musk-owned Tesla manufacturing facilities, and Musk himself has engaged in controversial acts including spreading COVID-19 misinformation, union-busting, and even targeting ex-employees.

Reddit and Twitter responses to buyout

Twitter and Reddit users are openly debating the implications of what a Musk-owned buyout could look like. Some discussions have even expanded beyond the future of Twitter itself, considering instead which other social media platforms would instead be suitable to migrate to. Elon Musk himself has tweeted in response to Twitter users who are considering whether to leave or stay, saying, "I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means."

Many of the responses to the tweet have come with ample skepticism. @AdiGaskell responded to Musk with a clear repudiation of Musk's past rhetoric surrounding free speech, saying, "I hope you won't become a platform for spreading misinformation as that's not what free speech means." Senior Reporter Ashton Pittman of the Mississippi Free Press, @ashtonpittman, also responded to Musk's tweet with a warning: "Decent people aren't going to remain on a platform that you turn into a cesspool."

Up and down the overarching conversation surrounding Elon Musk's buyout of Twitter, the sentiments presented above remain consistent. Likewise, Musk's supporters have also come out of the woodwork in support of the buyout, and many exchanges have quickly broken out into fights across the social media platform. It's inarguably a tumultuous moment for Twitter and its users, but what happens when the dust finally settles, however, is anyone's best guess.