"The bird is free": Musk buys Twitter after months of takeover thriller

"I am very happy that Twitter is in good hands now," wrote Trump, who is considering running for president again in 2024, on the online platform Truth Social, which he co-founded.

"The bird is free": Musk buys Twitter after months of takeover thriller

"I am very happy that Twitter is in good hands now," wrote Trump, who is considering running for president again in 2024, on the online platform Truth Social, which he co-founded. Twitter will no longer be run by "radical left-wing crazies and lunatics who really hate our country".

Musk initially commented on the purchase, which ended a month-long takeover thriller, with a short tweet: "The bird is free," wrote the head of the electric car manufacturer Tesla and the richest person in the world, looking at the logo of the short message service. Later he added to the address of his more than 110 million Twitter followers: "Let the good times roll", loosely translated as: "Let's have fun".

Critics fear that Musk could drastically scale back content moderation to fight hate speech, online bullying and the spread of misinformation. The pugnacious entrepreneur presents himself as a radical advocate of the right to freedom of speech and has in the past accused Twitter of restricting freedom of expression.

In May, Musk caused a stir by announcing that he wanted to reverse Trump's ban on Twitter. Trump's Twitter account was suspended after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by radical supporters of the president-elect.

Observers warn that under Musk, extremists and conspiracy theorists could let off steam undisturbed on Twitter in the future. Far-Right MP Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote in response to Musk's takeover: "Freedom of Speech!!!!"

Musk said on Thursday that he wanted to enable "healthy" debates on the Internet "over a wide range of beliefs" with the purchase of the platform. However, Twitter should not become an "anarchic hell where everything can be said without consequences".

The EU Commission warned Musk on Friday that Twitter will have to comply with EU rules in the future. "In Europe, the bird flies according to our European rules," said Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton. He referred to new rules for online platforms that were recently finally adopted, with which, among other things, hate messages and false information are to be tackled.

Musk announced in April that he wanted to buy and delist Twitter for $44 billion. In July, however, the 51-year-old, who also heads the aerospace company SpaceX, backed down and explained that Twitter had made false statements about the number of spam and fake accounts on the network. The company rejected the allegations and went to court to force the multi-billionaire to complete the acquisition.

Musk then announced in early October that he wanted to buy Twitter as originally planned. A judge sets Friday as the deadline for this. As announced, trading in Twitter shares on the New York Stock Exchange was suspended on Friday.

It is true that Twitter is an extremely important platform because it is used by many politicians and other influential figures. However, the network only has around 238 million daily active users, which is significantly fewer than other platforms such as Facebook. Twitter also repeatedly disappointed with its business figures. Musk has promised to take the service to new heights. In June, he announced the goal of one billion users.

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