June 25, 2022

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Elon Musk's Twitter tweetstorm fuels theories about painting drama

Elon Musk’s Twitter tweetstorm fuels theories about painting drama

Elon Musk’s abrupt decision this weekend to decline a seat on Twitter’s board of directors coincided with a torrential tweet storm, providing evidence of the dramatic reversal.

At 6:33 a.m. PST on Saturday, Musk asked “Is Twitter dying?” Over the next 17 hours, Musk targeted tweets on the most popular Twitter users, based in San Francisco and the account authentication process. Before he could finish his job, he made a lewd joke to the company where he is now its largest shareholder.

Saturday’s erratic streak of tweets was unusual even for a CEO who gained 80 million followers through controversial 280-character posts that resulted in lawsuits and enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But it is the best evidence that can be analyzed to help unravel the mysteries of what happened behind the scenes between his agreement a week ago to join Twitter’s board of directors and his decision to reject it on Saturday. The board position has been linked to Musk being the company’s largest shareholder, with a stake of more than 9 percent.

“We have and will always appreciate input from our shareholders whether they are board members or not. Elon is our largest shareholder and we will remain open to his input,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal wrote in a post Sunday night.

Conservatives announced the decision to ask Musk to join the board of directors, predicting Tesla’s CEO would advocate easing the company’s content policies — and possibly even repealing the ban on former President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, internally uneasy Twitter employees have expressed concern that Musk might invalidate the company’s progress in policing problematic content online.

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“Twitter should deal with a wildcard investor who already owns nine percent of the company and has the resources to buy the remaining 91 percent,” Don Bilson, an analyst with Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, wrote in an email to clients now.

It is unclear what exactly happened and led to the reversal. Agrawal said Musk chose not to join the board at some point that morning, but he didn’t specify the exact time that morning, nor did he say which came first: Musk’s board seat decision or the storm of his tweets.

Musk liked a tweet from another user early Monday that theorized: “Elon has become the largest contributor to Free Speech. Elon has been asked to play nice and not speak freely.”

In a major reversal, Elon Musk will not join Twitter’s board of directors

Twitter declined to comment, and Musk did not respond to requests for comment.

Agrawal also mentioned that Musk had undergone a background check. According to someone who did a background check for high profile appointments to the board of directors, this likely looked for any information that, if made public, could cause harm to the company. This person said that Musk had to cooperate with such a check.

Elon Musk delayed submitting a form and made $156 million

Musk previously took to Twitter to criticize the company or seek feedback on the company. For example, he would like the company to add an “Edit” button, which would allow tweets to be changed after they’ve been posted. Twitter said it was working on it last week, after a survey published by Musk.

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But Musk’s biggest predicament so far is Twitter’s refusal to allow some types of content.

“Freedom of speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote on Twitter on March 25, before the start of a poll asking, “Do you think Twitter strictly adheres to this principle?”

And more than 70 percent of the two million people who voted said “no”.

On Saturday morning, Musk told Twitter that he would not be joining the board of directors, according to Agrawal statment.

He completed. Shortly after 5 p.m., he saw that anyone joining the Twitter Blue subscription service should receive a check mark for authentication. This appears to address a long-standing issue about the prevalence of spam accounts on the service, although it would be an unusual announcement from a new board member.

Elon Musk addresses Twitter employees after internal protests

At 6:31 p.m., he launched a poll about whether Twitter should convert its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter — “since no one showed up anyway.” It was a clear reference to the company’s undefined teleworking policy.

Fourteen minutes before midnight, Musk made an obscene joke that I heard about an earlier tweet about forming a university with the acronym TITS.

“Delete w in Twitter?” Musk asked.

Several of Musk’s tweets that day were later deleted.

“When you’re tweeting about turning the Twitter office into a homeless shelter, it’s hard to believe you’re motivated by trying to push the stock price up,” said Richard Greenfield, partner at research firm LightShed Partners.

Musk’s resignation from the board of directors — which was announced Sunday evening — could somehow give him more leverage over the company. He is no longer limited by how he uses his voting power, nor is he limited to a 14.9% stake in the company, an agreement he made as a potential board member.

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Now, Musk could team up with other contributors to force Twitter. As a new CEO, experts say Agrawal is particularly vulnerable to a shareholder drop.