Elon Musk wins Twitter board's approval to buy company

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      The richest man in the world will soon control one of the most influential social-media platforms.

      Today, the board of Twitter approved Elon Musk's $US44-billion takeover offer.

      The Tesla CEO stated that he plans on taking Twitter private.

      He added that Twitter "has tremendous potential".

      "I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it," Musk declared.

      According to a news release, Musk has secured US$25.5 billion debt and margin loan financing and is providing a US$21-billion equity commitment. Stockholders will receive US$54.20 per share.

      "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk tweeted. "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans."

      Musk is a self-described "free speech absolutist", prompting speculation that under his control, Twitter will allow former U.S. president Donald Trump back on the platform.

      Trump, a frequent liar, said in a statement today that he has no plans to go back on Twitter and will remain with his social-media network called Truth Social.

      The former president was removed from Twitter after he held a rally in Washington on January 6 that resulted in mobs of violent demonstrators storming the U.S. Capitol, with some threatening to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then vice president Mike Pence.

      In a different tweet today, Musk stated that he hopes that even his worst critics remain on the platform "because that is what free speech means".

      Under section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act, Twitter is immune from libel suits iin America under most circumstances for posts by its users.

      That's because this legislation ensures that these providers of interactive computer services are not deemed to be publishers if they don't create or develop illegal material, don't edit material, and comply with promises to remove posts.

      However, this legislation does not apply in Canada, where a West Vancouver billionaire, Frank Guistra, is suing Twitter for alleged defamatory posts in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Giustra is a close friend of Bill Clinton and once sat on the board of the Clinton Foundation.