Elon Musk’s Twitter tweetstorm feeds on table drama theories

Elon Musk’s sudden decision over the weekend to turn down a board seat on Twitter coincided with a productive tweetstorm that gave clues about the dramatic turnaround.

At 6:33 a.m. in the Pacific on Saturday, Musk asked “Is Twitter dying?” And over the next 17 hours, Musk directed tweets at Twitter’s most popular users, its San Francisco headquarters, and its account authentication process. Before he finished, he made an obscene joke with the company, of which he is now its largest shareholder.

The erratic series of Saturday tweets was unusual, even for a CEO who has earned 80 million followers with controversial 280-character posts that have resulted in lawsuits and enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But that’s the best evidence to analyze to help figure out the mysteries of what happened behind the scenes between his agreement a week ago to join Twitter’s board and his decision to reject it on Saturday. The position of board member was linked to Musk becoming the company’s largest shareholder with an ownership share of more than 9 percent.

“We have and will always appreciate input from our shareholders, whether they are on our board 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.

The decision to ask Musk to join the board was heralded by conservatives, who expected Tesla’s CEO to fight for a relaxation of the company’s content policy – and perhaps even to overturn former President Donald Trump’s ban. Meanwhile, Twitter employees expressed discomfort internally because they were concerned that Musk might regret progress that the company has made in policing problematic content online.

Now, Twitter must “trade 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 at Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, wrote in an email to clients.

It is unclear what exactly happened that resulted in the turnaround. Agrawal said Musk chose not to join the board at some point that morning, but he did not specify exactly when that morning, nor did he say what came first: Musk’s decision on the board seat or his tweetstorm.

Musk “liked” a tweet from another user early Monday that put forward the theory: “Elon became the largest shareholder for Freedom of Expression. Elon was told to play nice and not speak freely.”

In the big turnaround, Elon Musk will not join the Twitter board

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

Agrawal also mentioned that Musk had been subject to a background check. According to a person who has carried out background checks for prominent board appointments, this would probably have looked for any information that could harm the company if it were published. Musk would have had to cooperate with such a check, this person said.

Elon Musk delayed filing a form and earned $ 156 million

Musk has previously taken to Twitter to criticize or request feedback on the company. For example, he would like the company to add an “edit” button that allows you to change tweets after they are published. Twitter said it was working on it last week, following a poll posted by Musk.

But Musk’s biggest complaint is far from 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 launching a poll in which he asked, “Do you think Twitter strictly adheres to this principle?”

More than 70 percent of the 2 million people who voted said no.

On Saturday morning, Musk told Twitter that according to Agrawal’s, he would not participate in the board announcement.

He continued. Shortly after 5pm, he felt that anyone who joined Twitter’s Twitter Blue subscription service should receive an authentication checkbox. It appears to be addressing a long-standing complaint about the proliferation of spam accounts on the service, though that would be an unusual statement from a new board member.

Elon Musk will address Twitter employees after internal outcry

At 6:31 p.m., he launched a poll on whether Twitter should convert its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter – “since no one shows up anyway.” It was an apparent reference to the company’s policy of indefinite teleworking.

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

“Delete w’et on Twitter?” Musk asked.

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

“When you tweet about turning Twitter’s office into a homeless shelter, it’s a little hard to believe you’re driven by trying to drive the stock price higher,” said Richard Greenfield, a partner at research firm LightShed Partners.

Musk’s resignation from the board – announced Sunday night – could in some ways give him more influence over the company. He is no longer limited in how he can use his voting power, nor is he limited to a 14.9 percent stake in the company, a deal he made as a future board member.

Now Musk could team up with other shareholders to force Twitter’s hand. As the new CEO, experts say Agrawal is particularly vulnerable to a shareholder exclusion.

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