Twitter on Monday confirmed it is selling the platform to billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk in a deal valued at $44 billion.
The sale was a dramatic shift for the board, which had originally maneuvered to block Musk from taking the social media network private.
“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 said in a joint statement announcing the takeover.
Musk had taken a major stake in the firm earlier this month before lining up last week some $46.5 billion in financing to push forward with the purchase.
Twitter board chair Bret Taylor said the body “conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing,” according to the statement.
“The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”
The polarizing Tesla chief’s campaign to buy the social media giant sparked concern that his unpredictable statements and alleged bullying are contradictory to his stated aims for the platform.
How will the platform change?
Human rights groups have raised concerns that a lack of moderation could lead to a rise in hate speech.
Many Twitter users are also asking whether this means accounts suspended by the company will be allowed back.
The most high-profile person to have been suspended was Donald Trump.
After the news of the deal was announced, human rights groups raised concerns about hate speech on Twitter and the power it would give Mr Musk, who is a self-described “free speech absolutist”.
He has been vocal in his criticism of the platform’s policies on moderating content, arguing that Twitter needs to be a genuine forum for free speech.
In a statement after striking the deal he described free speech as “the bedrock of a functioning democracy”.
In a Twitter thread, Amnesty International said: “We are concerned with any steps that Twitter might take to erode enforcement of the policies and mechanisms designed to protect users.
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