This morning, Elon Musk tweeted about his intentions to acquire Twitter and his views on advertising. Musk believes Twitter is crucial for society as a place to air various opinions. According to Musk, “the reason I acquired Twitter is that it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”
His tweet seems to be a fairly direct reaction to a Wall Street Journal article that earlier stated that “Advertisers are concerned about the billionaire’s plans to soften content moderation and what they say are potential conflicts of interest in auto advertising.”
In comments he made to Twitter staff members in June, Musk stated that his belief is that people should be able to say really ridiculous things within the law but that they shouldn’t necessarily be amplified. At this point, his advice to advertisers is that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anything is permitted.” Musk has also blamed “far right and far left-wing echo chambers” and media for hate and division in society.
Musk now asserts regarding his impending purchase, “I didn’t do it because it would be easy. ” Musk did not specifically repeat his joke from last week’s Tesla results call about overpaying. I didn’t do it to increase my earnings. I did it in an effort to support humanity, which I love. This message of love was purportedly also communicated during Musk’s visit to Twitter’s headquarters yesterday, according to Bloomberg, where he reportedly informed staff members that he doesn’t genuinely want to lay off 75% of the company’s employees.
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
According to the Wall Street Journal story, 89% of Twitter’s $5 billion in revenue last year was a result of advertising. While Musk has reportedly privately explored ideas for shifting away from advertisements as the primary revenue source and publicly floated ideas about redesigning the service to focus on becoming a WeChat-style everything app, any adjustments in that direction would take time to accomplish.
The $44 billion purchase of Twitter appears to be closing ahead of the court-mandated deadline of tomorrow, according to a separate story from The Wall Street Journal, which stated that banks providing funds to Musk for the acquisition had begun to transfer the billions of dollars.