A leading social media platform could find itself in the middle of a hot debate that could divide the country. The potential move could also increase the slow demise of a social media platform created by a former president.
What Happened: It was revealed Monday that Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk took a 9.2% stake in Twitter Inc TWTR, making him the largest shareholder of the company. Musk was named to the company’s Board of Directors Tuesday.
With the moves by Musk, many have begun pushing for changes from the world’s richest man. Some have even called for Twitter to better align with Dogecoin DOGE/USD.
Others are calling on Musk to reinstate members on the platform who have previously been banned including former President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, “Bring Trump” was among the trending topics on Twitter.
Musk took aim at Twitter and its “free speech” policies prior to his stake being unveiled and also suggested creating an alternative to Twitter.
Musk said a new social media platform would consist of an “open source algorithm, one where free speech and adhering to free speech is given top priority, one where propaganda is very minimal.”
Many believe Musk will push to limit policies on free speech on Twitter, which could lead to bringing back prominent users who have been banned, like Trump. Babylon Bee, a satirical news site, was recently banned from Twitter. Musk has been a fan of the Babylon Bee and often shares their posts.
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon said Musk recently contacted him to confirm that the account had been suspended on Twitter.
Musk reached out to us before he polled his followers about Twitter's commitment to free speech. He wanted to confirm that we had, in fact, been suspended. He even mused on that call that he might need to buy Twitter. Now he's the largest shareholder and has a seat on the board.— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) April 5, 2022
Related Link: 7 Key Takeaways From The Donald Trump SPAC Deal
Why It’s Important: Bringing Trump and other censored voices to Twitter would be a big deal for many reasons. It would bring back one of the most followed accounts of all time, could divide users on the platform and could also lead to the demise of a social media platform created by Trump.
Trump Media & Technology Group announced in late 2021 the company is going public with Digital World Acquisition Corp DWAC via SPAC merger. Among the products under the Trump Media & Technology Group umbrella is Truth Social, a social media platform.
Truth Social is available to users on Apple Inc. AAPL products, but unavailable to Android users from Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL.
After a strong start, the app has seen a significant drop in downloads and lost several executives. Recently, Trump ally and longtime Republican political consultant Roger Stone accused Truth Social of censoring him.
One of the plugs of Truth Social was to be a platform for free speech and a place for those banned on other platforms to join. A move by Twitter to bring back suspended accounts could significantly impact the reach that Truth Social has if users and large accounts choose to go back to Twitter, which has the larger reach and user base.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was permanently suspended by Twitter over COVID-19 misinformation policy violations.
“Twitter is an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth. That’s fine, I’ll show America we don’t need them, and it’s time to defeat our enemies,” Greene said at the time. She is an investor in Digital World Acquisition shares.
Rumble, a video-themed social media platform, announced a SPAC merger in December with CF Acquisition Corp VI CFVI to go public. Rumble is built on free speech principles and has been able to land significant accounts that have been banned from Twitter and YouTube.
Trump, who is banned from YouTube, has utilized Rumble to show several of his rallies.
Trump has yet to post on Truth Social and his children only recently started posting on the platform. Before being banned on Twitter, Trump had 89 million followers.
If Trump is reinstated on Twitter and immediately starts posting there, users could head for the exits from Truth Social.
Price Action: Twitter shares were up 27% to $49.97 on Monda and are trading 5% higher to $54.07 on Tuesday.
Digital World Acquisition shares were down 10% to $56.94 on Monday and are down 14% to $48.77 on Tuesday.
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