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Elon Musk’s $44bn takeover of Twitter has set the cat amongst the pigeons, not least on the social media behemoth itself.
News of the acquisition – which will put the Tesla chief executive in the driving seat of a company that has not lived up to its admittedly difficult mantra of defending “free speech” – has led to some passionate responses from celebrities, experts and politicians.
Former presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren, a prominent critic of Big Tech, warned the deal is “dangerous for democracy”.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the purchase “cannot mean a free pass for hatred”.
Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon as well as the Washington Post, questioned whether his fellow billionaire could expose Twitter to Beijing influence, given that Tesla is China’s second largest car market.
Some have already abandoned the platform in protest of Musk’s takeover, comparing it to white supremacy, imperialism and apartheid.
British actress Jameela Jamil stated she will be leaving the app due to fears the world’s richest man will create a “totally lawless hate, bigotry and misogyny”.
It remains to be seen how Twitter will change and what Musk’s vision for the future is. One thing is certain: whether he reinstates Donald Trump’s account or takes a more absolutist approach to freedom of expression, users are set for a bumpy ride.
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