As part of the ongoing saga that is Twitter Inc TWTR versus Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk, text messages from the CEO’s phone were recently publicly released. Here’s a look at what the texts revealed ahead of the highly publicized trial awaiting the two parties.
What Happened: Texts from Elon Musk to and from multiple people involved in the Twitter stake and acquisition were released last week. The texts will be used in the lawsuit filed by Twitter to push the acquisition to go through after Musk announced he was walking away from the deal.
Here are the best exchanges revealed.
Musk vs. Parag: Musk battled with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal several times in the texts, including an exchange that saw Agrawal upset about Musk’s tweet.
“You are free to tweet ‘is Twitter dying?’ or anything else about Twitter – but it’s my responsibility to tell you that it’s not helping me make Twitter better in the current context,” Agrawal said.
Musk didn’t appear to be happy with the text and sent a response to Agrawal.
“What did you get done this week? I’m not joining the board. This is a waste of time. Will make an offer to take Twitter private,” Musk said in a series of texts.
Another exchange saw Musk tell Agrawal that Twitter should loosen its banning policies.
“Would be great to unwind permanent bans, except for spam accounts and those that explicitly advocate violence.”
The text chain between Musk and Agrawal led to the Tesla CEO agreeing to do a question and answer with Twitter employees.
Twitter Chairman Frequent in Texts: One of the names that pops up the most in the public text messages is Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor.
The exchanges mostly center on Taylor asking for Musk to call him or to set up meetings over the acquisition.
“Given the SEC filing, would like to speak asap to coordinate communications. Call asap when you are back,” Taylor said.
Musk also gave Taylor a heads-up several times before filings or announcements involving his relationship with Twitter.
“Please expect a take private offer,” Musk said. “Fixing Twitter by chatting with Parag won’t work, drastic action is needed.”
Musk told Taylor that it was hard to restructure Twitter as a public company, and that Dorsey shared the belief that the company should be taken private.
Held Talks with Jack Dorsey: Listed in his phone as “jack jack,” Elon Musk texted Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey several times related to the deal. Dorsey admitted to Musk that he quit as the CEO of Twitter after realizing that a new social media platform was needed.
“It can’t be a company. I believe it must be an open-source protocol, funded by a foundation of sorts that doesn’t own the protocol, only advances it,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey said making Twitter a company was “the original sin.”
Another exchange between Musk and Dorsey saw the Twitter co-founder tell Musk that there was a verified account in “the swamp of despair” pretending to be Musk, referring to Meta Platforms META owned social media platform Facebook.
Sam Bankman-Fried Was Interested In Funding: Musk has lined up financing from several parties. One name that came out in the texts that was interested but didn’t help in the financing was FTX co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.
Known for helping struggling cryptocurrency companies with investments, Bankman-Fried was linked up with Musk with the intention of contributing $1 billion to $5 billion as an investment in Twitter.
The tweets revealed that Bankman-Fried had been interested in buying the social media platform for a while.
“Great to meet you Elon – happy to chat about Twitter (or other things) whenever,” Bankman-Fried texted.
Joe Lonsdale Chimes In: Palantir Technologies PLTR co-founder Joe Lonsdale also texted Musk about the Twitter deal.
“Excited to see the stake in Twitter – awesome ‘back door many’ they are saying, haha,” Lonsdale texted. “Hope you’re able to influence it. I bet you the board doesn’t even get full reporting or see any report of the censorship decisions and little cabals going on there but they should – the lefties on the board likely want plausible deniability,” Lonsdale said.
Jason Calacanis Has Lots of Ideas: One of the most frequent names in the text exchanges with Musk is investor and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis.
“You should raise your offer, $54.21,” Calacanis told Musk. “The perfect counter.”
Calacanis told Musk he would be interested in being the CEO of the social media platform and put faith in Musk in cleaning up the spam and bot issues the company has. Musk asked Calacanis if he wanted to be a strategic advisor if the deal worked out.
Calacanis also told Musk he could cut Twitter employees by making a two day a week office requirement.
Musk used Calacanis as his sounding board several times, even mentioning that Agrawal was on a “ten day vacation in Hawaii.”
“Shouldn’t he be in a war room right now,” Calacanis asked in response.
Calacanis also argued to Musk that Twitter should market to famous YouTuber Mr. Beast, who could help the platform appeal more to Gen Z and Millenial users.
Joe Rogan Likes the Deal: No stranger to talking about free speech and censorship, Joe Rogan texted Musk to share his thoughts on the deal.
“Are you going to liberate Twitter from the censorship happy mob?” Rogan asked.
Musk told Rogan he would provide advice to Twitter.
Rogan told Musk he “really” hopes he acquires Twitter, and that a “hell of a party” should be thrown if it happens.
Larry Ellison Jumps On Board: Among the interested parties in helping finance the Twitter acquisition is Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, who was asked by Musk if he was willing to participate.
“Any interest in participating in Twitter deal?” Musk asked.
“Yes of course,” Ellison responded.
Ellison said he would invest $1 billion or whatever amount Musk thought was needed.
Gayle King Wants an Interview: TV host Gayle King texted Musk after the Twitter news came out.
“Gayle here! Have you missed me are you ready to do a proper sit down with me, so much to discuss! Especially with your Twitter play,” King said.
The CBS News host also asked Musk for an edit button for Twitter.
“Twitter edit button is coming” Musk said, while also telling King that his 9% stake wasn’t “quite control” of Twitter.
Musk responded to King that perhaps her friend Oprah Winfrey would be interested in joining the Twitter Board of Directors.
“Wisdom and humanity and knowing what is right are more important than so called board governance skills, which mean pretty much nothing in my experience,” King said.
Chatting With His Brother: Musk’s brother Kimbal Musk, who is on the Tesla Board of Directors, also appears in the public texts. The brothers discuss and alternative to Twitter.
“I have an idea for a blockchain social media system that does both payments and short text messages/links like Twitter. You have to pay a tiny amount to register your message on the chain, which will cut out the vast majority of spams and bots,” Kimbal Musk said.
The Musk brother said the new platform could guarantee free speech.
Kimbal told Elon he had dug deep on Web3 and the “voting powers are amazing and verified.”
Photo: Courtesy of Tesla Owners Club Belgium on flickr
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