How Would Elon Musk Control Twitter?

Other securities law experts said that kicking off his stake disclosure with a “passive” filing gives Musk more flexibility, and keeps everyone guessing as to what his real intentions are.

Elon can change his mind about being passive and file a 13D. A 13D form indicates an “activist” stake.

“It seems that Musk is advocating for change, not control,” said Charles Elson, founding director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. “But it’s going to be a mess for Twitter, because Elon Musk is not your ordinary shareholder.”

Twitter’s next annual meeting is May 25, 2022.

Elon can probably get Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood of Ark Invest to side with his plans. This would be 15% of the shares. About 30-40% of the shares are major investment funds.

If Elon Musk has plans that are also viewed as effective for growing the value of the stock then Elon will have the share votes to get board seats or for him or his selected representative to become Chairman of the Board. Board control would let Elon determine who the CEO is for Twitter.

19 thoughts on “How Would Elon Musk Control Twitter?”

  1. Musk's private force is a joke compared to any local law enforcement. They can't arrest people. Even a single cop outweighs them b/c that cop has the implicit power of the State behind him. If Congress continues to threaten Twitter, Musk won't be able to stop them from censoring Twitter. And Musk is not a free speech absolutist anyway; he banned Robert Reich from responding, so Musk's 80m fans never see the harsh criticism Reich has to offer, including how Musk banned him. As I said, there is no love for Musk in Washington. They fear him as much as respect him b/c he is anti-union and pro-capitalist in the rawest form and doesn't care whether his cars are built in Texas or China. American jobs=American votes, and Washington Pols know that.

  2. "For all Musk's power, he has no army, police, or courts"

    You're an idiot if you really think a guy as rich as Musk doesn't have a private army/police force – or just about any sufficiently rich guy.

    They might couch them as 'private security', but a private army is what they really are.

    And yes, money does equal free speech in modern US politics – it has been that way since unchecked dark money started flowing through congressional campaign donations.

    Musk won't try to push anything through Twitter but what he can profit from – his entire bitcoin fad was all about money and manipulating the cryptocurrency market, because any halfway intelligent climate conscious person knows bitcoin mining is a massive energy hog which is doing far more damage at the moment than it's advertise merits could ever improve society with.

  3. I don't know where you come from, but I don't see it like that at all. You may hate him or love him, but his achievement are widely hailed and he knows it.

  4. I could go a step further and throw out the possibility that Starlink could be developed into a completely separate internet infrastructure. I would pay for cloud services. It could replace WWW one day.

  5. If you repeatedly and successfully use twitter to boost stocks you're about to sell and there was a chance you might get kicked off twitter, wouldn't buying a controlling interest in twitter be a good idea?

    Perhaps I am too doubtful this has anything to do with free speech.

  6. It just occured to me.. Orbital servers might be interesting for the military. Harder to sabotage physically and/or bomb

  7. Elon Musk genuinely supports free political speech but recognizes that it has real limits. These include the “shouting fire in crowded theatre” sort which would always have included shouting lies in the midst of a Pandemic for example. Sometimes people quietly discussing fire in a civilized way in the theatre get caught up inappropriately. Musk wants to tweak the algorithm and make sure it is open source.

  8. Musk is the world's richest edge lord. Great contributions but absolutely insufferable personality straight from 4chan board

  9. There is a service out there – I'm not going to link it as I haven't tried it, but you can easily find it – to cross post Twitter and Mastodon (twitter alternative).

    If everyone posting controversial (ITO – In Twitter's Opinion) stuff used that or an equivalent, everyone would know where to go find censored tweets/toots.

  10. He could pump and dump.
    Then he could back the opposition or start his own platform.
    Orbital server?

  11. Twitter is mainly a mobile phone product. Starlink antenna requirements make Starlink services impractical for anything smaller than an RV, Furthermore regarding dropping speech regulations: there is a reason why most companies have such regulations in place, and it is that not having such regulations make the environment toxic and ruins the business. It works in the same way as p0rn; sure many on the internet consume it, but it is still a niche market compared to everything else, and the extra income provided by having it on your website often does not compensate for the loss of customers that will avoid the website with such content. Only if you cannot provide other content, you as a provider resort to hosting p0rn. This is very similar to not having hate speech regulation: if you cannot cater to the general public (because you lack in scale/investments) your business model is to provide a niche service to a minority of people that the general public really does not want to interact with.
    All this to say that business-wise removing certain regulations does harm the business. Musk might still do it but it is not a wise move,

  12. I just Tweeted the following: "Look at the timeline when jack Dorsey/Twitter started self-censoring. It came when Congress started threatening to restrict it. @elonmusk is going to run afoul of Congress & be called to testify if he tries to push free speech right/left doesn't like. His $$ doesn't=free speech."
    Let's see if Twitter bothers censoring my comment. They won't care much about me, but if Elon starts publicly suggesting changes to Twitter ON Twitter, the SEC will probably come after him, again.
    Surprisingly, Musk has not been beloved in Washington, even though he's almost single-handedly resuscitated the American Manned space program (Bezo's and Branson's (who's not even American) efforts are for wealthy space tourists so far), and begun the mass electric car market, among so many other things present and future. Yet, Biden visits a GM plant and says GM is leading the electric car revolution, not Tesla. Trump was no better. I think he was jealous because Musk's wealth made Trump look like a piker. BTW, with today's surge in Twitter stock and given when he bought it, mid-March, Musk has probably made back his $3b purchase price and a profit too.
    His real problem now is that Washington never believed in Free Speech, and despite what SCOTUS says, money does not equal speech when government can tell you what's allowed on your platform. For all Musk's power, he has no army, police, or courts.

  13. What if Elon Musk ran access to TW thru' Starlink?
    I know, software vs hardware but think about this…if you wanted people to talk to each other, unfettered by gov. rules how would you do it?
    Satellite system, and a huge, difficult to regulate SM system, especially if Elon Musk drops any and all hate speech regulation on TW.
    Note, this doesn't mean that comments wouldn't be traceable, such as for revenge porn, or other nasty postings, just 'hate speech' regulated via a particular government system wouldn't happen.
    That'd be interesting to see, if it could be done.

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