Elon Musk Discloses 9.2% Stake In Twitter Weeks After Criticizing Algorithm: What You Need To Know

Zinger Key Points
  • Musk has acquired a stake worth $2.9 billion in Twitter, SEC filing shows
  • This comes after Musk said he was giving serious thought to creating an "alternative" to Twitter.
  • The stake was acquired on March 14, as per filing, ahead of the 'Open Source Algorithm' Poll

Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk has acquired a 9.2% stake in social media company Twitter Inc. TWTR, a 13G SEC filing from the latter revealed early Monday.

What Happened: Musk bought 73,486,938 shares in Twitter with sole voting power. The stake is worth $2.89 billion, considering Twitter's last closing price of $39.31.

Twitter shares jumped 29% in the pre-market session to $51.02 at the time of writing, as per data from Benzinga Pro. Tesla shares traded 1% higher at $1,096.

Why It Matters: This comes after Musk said he was giving serious thought to creating an "alternative" to Twitter.

"Am giving serious thought to this" the billionaire entrepreneur told a Twitter user in late March after the latter probed Musk on whether he would create a new social media platform that "would consist an open source algorithm, one where free speech and adhering to free speech is given top priority, one where propaganda is very minimal."

Musk had three days earlier conducted a poll on Twitter, asking if Twitter should make its algorithm open-source; 82.7% of those polling voted in favor of making the company's algorithm open-sourced, and 17.3% voted against such a move.

The Twitter SEC filing shows that the stake was acquired on March 14, more than a week ahead of Musk making these statements on Twitter.

Musk on March 24 also expressed his worry over what he said was "de facto bias in 'the Twitter algorithm' having a major effect on public discourse."

"How do we know what’s really happening?" he asked.

The Twitter Star? Musk is an ardent user of Twitter; his 80-million-strong following on the microblogging platform is the 10th-largest in the world, as per data from Social Blade.

The world's richest person uses the platform to directly reach out to investors and fans of his companies, which include Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company. His companies, Tesla — in particular, rarely put out press releases and the CEO's tweets are often the primary source of information related to the electric vehicle maker.

Musk has also used the platform to express his backing of meme cryptocurrency Dogecoin DOGE/USD and clash with proponents of Bitcoin BTC/USD after Tesla decided to discontinue accepting payments in the apex cryptocurrency over environmental concerns.

Photo: Courtesy of Nvidia via Flickr

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