Twitter, the private company that has stolen the public square from we the people, was set to face a free speech renaissance in the coming weeks, as Elon Musk was preparing to plop down an incredible $44 billion for the platform.
Musk, like many Americans, had grown concerned about the way in which Twitter was operating, particularly as it pertained to political speech. The Tesla CEO had even promised to “unlock” the app’s true potential should he become its new owner.
Now, however, there is some serious doubt about that possibility.
Elon Musk said Friday that his plan to buy Twitter is “temporarily on hold,” raising fresh doubts about whether he’ll proceed with the $44 billion acquisition.
Musk tweeted that he wanted to pinpoint the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform. Musk has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter’s problem with “spam bots” that mimic real people and appeared to question whether the company was underreporting them.
But Twitter has disclosed in regulatory filings that its bot estimates might be low for at least two years, leading some analysts to believe that Musk could be raising the issue as a reason to back out of the deal.
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted Friday morning, indicating he’s skeptical that the number of inauthentic accounts is that low.
The billionaire tweeted a bit of encouragement not long after, however.
Musk later tweeted that he’s “still committed to acquisition.” Neither Twitter nor Musk responded Friday to requests for comment.
Musk’s potential takeover of the social media app had delighted conservatives, who had long felt the brunt of Twitter’s censorship issues thanks to the company’s left-leaning leadership.