Timeline: What does Musk want with Twitter? Check out his tweets for clues

April 26, 2022 - 7:44 PM
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SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk reacts during a post-launch news conference to discuss the SpaceX Crew Dragon astronaut capsule in-flight abort test at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. January 19, 2020. (Reuters/Joe Skipper/File Photo)

Twitter Inc <TWTR.N> on Monday agreed to accept a $44 billion takeover bid from Elon Musk, giving the world’s richest person control of the social media company once the deal closes.

Here’s a chronology of developments, including some tweets from Musk, that shed some light on his views of the company and free speech:

DateTweets and comments from company filing
April 25, 2022Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk tweeted after the deal was announced. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”
April 21, 2022“If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!” Musk tweeted. “And authenticate all real humans,” he added.
April 14, 2022“Taking Twitter private at $54.20 should be up to shareholders, not the board,” Musk asked in a poll on Twitter in which 83.5% of the responders said yes.
April 14, 2022Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said that as one of the major shareholders in Twitter he rejected a takeover bid by Musk
April 14, 2022“However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” Musk said in a filing
April 14, 2022“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk added in the filing
April 14, 2022“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it,” Musk said in the filing
April 14, 2022Musk tweeted saying “I made an offer”, with a link to the company filing
April 12, 2022Musk was sued by former Twitter shareholders who claim they missed out on the recent run-up in its stock price because he waited too long to disclose a 9.2% stake in the social media company
April 10, 2022Musk polled followers on Twitter asking whether the company’s headquarters in San Francisco should be converted into a homeless shelter. The tweet is now deleted. Amazon.com <AMZN.O> founder Jeff Bezos had backed Musk‘s idea
April 10, 2022Twitter CEO Agrawal shared a note on Twitter saying that Musk rejected the company’s offer to join its board. Musk deleted the tweet, where he responded with an emoticon with a face-with-hand-over-mouth
April 10, 2022Musk started a poll asking if “w” should be deleted from Twitter’s name, leaving two voting options, “yes” and “of course.” He deleted that too
April 9, 2022With respect to Twitter’s business model, Musk tweeted before deleting it: “And no ads. The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive”
April 9, 2022Musk tweeted, “Everyone who signs up for Twitter Blue (ie pays $3/month) should get an authentication checkmark” about its subscription service that offers “exclusive access to premium features” on a monthly basis. Later, he deleted the tweet
April 5, 2022Agrawal tweeted Musk is being appointed to Twitter’s board. “He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on

@Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term”, a follow-on tweet said

April 5, 2022Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey welcomed Musk to Twitter’s board in a tweet, added: “Parag and Elon both lead with their hearts, and they will be an incredible team”
April 4, 2022Musk posted a Twitter poll asking users if they wanted an edit button. “Do you want an edit button?” Musk asked in the tweet, in response to which Agrawal said the consequences of the poll will be important. “Please vote carefully,” he tweeted
April 4, 2022In his first tweet since the disclosure of his stake in Twitter, he said, “Oh hi lol”
March 26, 2022Musk said Twitter failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy and asked if a new platform was needed

—Reporting by Akash Sriram, Eva Mathews, Chavi Mehta, Tiyashi Datta and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shounak Dasgupta and Amy Caren Daniel