Musk might back off Twitter deal, remarks suggest



After much ado about Elon Musk’s plan to buy Twitter and take it private, headlines today suggest that deal is temporarily off.


Nivedita Balu at Reuters reports that Musk wants to look into what percentage of user accounts are comprised of bots or automated systems instead of actual people.

“Musk, the world’s richest man and a self-proclaimed free speech absolutist, had said that one of his priorities would be to remove ‘spam bots’ from the platform,” Balu writes.

“Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Musk’s representatives or his company Tesla Inc were not immediately available for a comment.”

Of course, Musk has also tweeted a lot of other strange stuff recently.


If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin ya,” Musk tweeted May 8, without a lot of clarifying context. As late as May 10, he was mentioning Twitter’s “left-wing bias,” as reported at the New York Post.


“Musk’s comment came in response to alt-right conservative commentator Mike Cernovich, who accused Twitter of turning a blind eye to tweets from liberal accounts that incite violence,” writes Snejana Farberov. “Chernovich had highlighted a tweet from Rewire News Group reporter Caroline Reilly, who responded to a recent New York Times article about an arson attack on an anti-abortion group by calling for more violence.”

As Farberov reports, Musk’s initial desire to own twitter seemed more based on his ideals about free speech then it was on money, as he once described a plan to create a “maximum fun” environment on the short-form social media platform.


Responding to the news, Twitter dropped 17%.


To be sure, Musk will have a $1 billion fee attached to walking away from the deal, but given that he was ready to pay $45 billion to acquire the platform, that might not seem like a lot. Still, it’s not small potatoes. We’ll continue to watch this deal unfold.