Members of the media renewed their anger against billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk on Tuesday after reports showed him closing his deal to officially buy Twitter.
Fox Business reported Twitter intended to close the deal for Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the social media company at $54.20 per share, the original offer Musk made in April. Shares from Twitter stock quickly soared after the announcement which also received approval from Twitter shareholders.
Reporters and journalists, however, expressed doubts and even fears about Musk’s purchase.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins notably penned a lengthy Twitter thread describing how Musk’s Twitter purchase could affect the 2022 midterm elections.
“For those of you asking: Yes, I do think this site can and will change pretty dramatically if Musk gets full control over it. No, there is no immediate replacement. If it gets done early enough, based on the people he’s aligned with, yes, it could actually affect midterms,” Collins wrote.
NPR editor Neela Banerjee retweeted the thread writing, “As usual, Ben Collins provides a useful thread on the broader implications for the rest of us of a Musk takeover of Twitter.”
Others also agreed with Collins on the risk posed by Musk purchasing Twitter.
“Be afraid, be actually afraid,” former Politico Magazine editor Garrett M. Graff wrote.
Euronews correspondent Shona Murray tweeted, “The end of Twitter as we know it is nigh.”
“Huge changes anticipated on this bird app after it goes private. Guardrails will be dropped, misinfo & conspiracy theories will thrive. No functional alternatives available, this is it: a complete destruction of the global public square. Been nice y’all,” BBC journalist Dickens Olewe wrote.
MSNBC host Joy Reid also retweeted Collins’ thread along with author Don Winslow’s warning about the threat Elon’s ownership of the social media site poses.
“*IF* Musk gets control of Twitter, And Zuckerberg has control of Facebook, And CNN is under new Republican backed management, We have a massive problem. And do not listen to anyone who tells you differently,” Winslow tweeted.
Other reporters and correspondents pushed fears and concerns ranging from threats to democracy, free speech and religious freedom.
“If you think Elon Musk giving Trump, Project Veritas and Alex Jones a bigger social platform to manipulate will benefit the future of free speech, you’re totally delusional,” Southern Poverty Law Center senior investigative reporter Michael Edison Hayden tweeted.
“Given news Musk may end up buying Twitter after all: Back in April, major Jewish and Muslim groups both voiced concerns about him taking over — e.g., it ‘threatens to make Twitter an even more dangerous place for Muslims and other marginalized people,’” Religious News Service national reporter Jack Jenkins remarked.
PoliticusUSA head Sarah Reese Jones wrote, “Before 2020, Facebook deplatformed progressives, then it came for mainstream media and elevated only radicalized conservatives. Cut to 2022, we know Elon Musk plans to do same with Twitter. We know how damaging it will be.Tech giants pose ongoing threat to western democracy.”
“These guys are the most delusional people on the planet. Musk is not ‘for free speech.’ And Twitter *favors* right-wing content and accounts. The fact that this ‘Twitter has an anti-conservative bias’ crap is so widely believed on the right is insane,” liberal writer Parker Molloy tweeted.
Center for Countering Digital Hate CEO Imran Ahmed wrote, “Elon Musk has consistently failed to understand the inevitable consequences of his sophomoric slogan that Twitter would be better if users had more ‘free speech.’”
Media pundits initially voiced their displeasure at the Twitter purchase back in April, when the deal was first announced. Many of their accusations included personal attacks against Musk, calling him a “sociopath” or “bro-fascist” who was only interested in protecting free speech for White users. The New York Times went as far as to claim that Musk grew up in South Africa “detached from apartheid’s atrocities and surrounded by anti-Black propaganda” that could influence the company.