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Elon Musk: Twitter’s new boss rules out immediate Trump return after ex-president celebrates takeover

The Elon Musk era at Twitter has officially begun.

On Friday, a day after reportedly firing top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and legal chief Vijaya Gadde, the billionaire revealed that banned accounts like that of former president Donald Trump would not immediately be reinstated.

He said the social media company would be setting up a “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints” to consider which accounts to allow back. Earlier Mr Musk tweeted that “the bird is freed”.

Despite Mr Musk’s assertion that Mr Trump may not be welcomed back into the fold, the former president celebrated the Tesla CEO’s purchase of Twitter by posting on his own, very similar social media platform, Truth Social.

“TRUTH SOCIAL has become somewhat of a phenomena. Last week it had bigger numbers than all other platforms, including TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and the rest. It also looks and works better to my eye. I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country,” Mr Trump said.

“Twitter must now work hard to rid itself of all of the bots and fake accounts that have hurt it so badly. It will be much smaller, but better. I LOVE TRUTH!”

This came after the billionaire bizarrely arrived on Wednesday at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters carrying a kitchen sink ahead of closing his $44bn deal to purchase the micro-blogging site.

Mr Musk reportedly told Twitter employees during his visit that he does not plan to cut 75 per cent of the staff after acquiring the company.

Many Twitter users have taken the opportunity to tweet racial slurs in ‘celebration’ of Mr Musk’s takeover, believing it will come with less content moderation.

Key Points

  • Elon Musk begins takeover of Twitter as top executives including Parag Agrawal fired, report says

  • Elon Musk walks into Twitter HQ with a sink

  • Musk tells Twitter employees he will not cut 75 per cent of jobs

  • What will Twitter look like under Elon Musk?

Elon Musk raises dogecoin prices with possible Twitter integration

14:30 , Adam Smith

The price of dogecoin has surged by more than 50 per cent since the weekend amid speculation that the cryptocurrency will be integrated with Twitter.

Newly-appointed Twitter chief executive Elon Musk tweeted a picture of a Shiba Inu dog – used as the logo for the meme-inspired cryptocurrency – wearing a T-shirt with the Twitter logo, together with a winky face emoji.

When asked by one of his followers if he was “working on a doge solution for Twitter or working with devs for a doge payment system on Twitter”, Mr Musk replied the sideways-looking eyes emoji.

Dogecoin price surges as Elon Musk hints of Twitter integration

Elon Musk’s fortune drops after Twitter deal

14:00 , Adam Smith

Elon Musk’s net worth has dropped by about $9bn since his takeover of Twitter, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Tesla titan’s fortune is down to $204bn, about a quarter of his worth before the beginning of this year.

The decline in Mr Musk’s net worth can also be attributed to the fall in shares of Tesla, which has dropped by 43 per cent since the beginning of this year.

Mr Musk had to sell over $15bn in Tesla stock to finance his Twitter acquisition.

Elon Musk’s net worth falls by $9bn since Twitter takeover

Elon Musk drops subscription price

13:30 , Adam Smith

Reports had previously indicated that Mr Musk was planning to charge $20 per month for the subscription to Twitter Blue, but was rebuked by author Stephen King.

“$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” Mr King wrote.

Mr Musk esponded that the change was an attempt to generate revenue, and that it would help reduce rather than encourage spam. He appeared to confirm that the change was coming, insisting that he would explain it before it is introduced.

He also began to barter with the author about how much the monthly charge should be for the verification process.

“We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?” he wrote.

“I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots & trolls.”

Twitter launched verification in 2009, with the aim of easily showing official accounts and combatting a run of impersonators.

The company has never been entirely clear about how it sees the blue tick that marks verification: though it claims that it should not be seen as an endorsement from Twitter, it has removed it from some accounts in the past.

Elon Musk confirms Twitter will charge for blue tick – and argues with Stephen King

Elon Musk will start charging people $8 per month for verification

13:00 , Adam Smith

Elon Musk’s biggest change to Twitter so far is the proposal to start charging for verification.

“Power to the people! Blue for $8/month”, Mr Musk tweeted. “Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity.”

Subscribers will also receive priority in replies, mentions & search, the ability to post long video and audio clips, and will see “half as many ads”.

Elon Musk confirms Twitter will charge for blue tick – and argues with Stephen King

Saturday 29 October 2022 13:00 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Thierry Breton, the commissioner for internal market of the European Union, has said that Elon Musk will comply with international laws around social media.

“In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules”, he tweeted.

Twitter users post slurs in ‘celebration’ of Musk takeover

Saturday 29 October 2022 12:02 , Graeme Massie

Many Twitter users have taken the opportunity to fill Twitter with racial slurs ahead of Mr Musk’s takeover, believing it signifies a start of laxer content moderation.

Saturday 29 October 2022 11:03 , Graeme Massie

Mr Musk has made numerous allegations against Twitter’s ‘left wing bias’, claiming that Twitter’s top lawyer was responsible for censorship of conservative views and that such a matter was “obvious”.

Twitter’s algorithm in fact amplifies right-wing news outlets more than others – and the social network is not exactly sure why.

In a report released in October last year, in six out of seven countries – all but Germany – tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more exposure by the algorithm than the political left when studied as a group.

Twitter admits its own algorithms amplify ‘political right’

Would Elon Musk allow Donald Trump back on Twitter?

Saturday 29 October 2022 08:31 , Graeme Massie

One big question looms: What would a Musk takeover of Twitter mean for Donald Trump?

Mr Musk pretty roundly denounced the original decision to ban Mr Trump when it occurred.

He called the move a “mistake” earlier this year at a financial conference, while not directly saying whether he’d reverse it should he take over the company.

“I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” said Mr Musk in May. “I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”

Would Elon Musk allow Donald Trump back on Twitter?

Saturday 29 October 2022 07:05 , Graeme Massie

The head of Bellingcat has said that Twitter will need more regulation as Mr Musk takes over.

“A lack of self-regulation on Twitter will just increase the likelihood of government regulation of all social media, it’s as simple as that”, Eliot Higgins tweeted.

ICYMI | Biden admin eyes national security reviews into Musk’s Twitter deal

Saturday 29 October 2022 06:04 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: The Biden administration is reportedly considering subjecting two of Elon Musk’s business ventures to a national security review.

Bloomberg News spoke with individuals familiar with the matter who claimed that the Tesla CEO’s acquisition of Twitter and his management of the SpaceX Starlink satellite network have raised some concerns in the Biden White House.

Talks that could determine whether or not Mr Musk will be subject to review are still in their infancy, according to the source.

Graig Graziosi has more.

Biden administration eyes national security reviews into Elon Musk’s Twitter deal

Saturday 29 October 2022 05:03 , Graeme Massie

Former Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt has also called for more social media regulation.

“So one man @elonmusk now owns the biggest debate in the world”, he tweeted.

“The need for rules and accountability is bigger than ever ! Self-regulation in social media has never worked… even with lesser characters than his”

Elon Musk ‘fails to understand freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to abuse'

Saturday 29 October 2022 04:04 , Graeme Massie

“Elon Musk has closed his takeover of Twitter for $44bn, taking control of one of the world’s largest social media platforms and an important digital public space.Musk thinks the world needs a new billionaire savior, but the way to have better social media is more democratic accountability, not less”, Imran Ahmed, the head of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, has said in a statement.

“He has promised he won’t allow Twitter to “become a free-for-all hellscape”, but he has consistently failed to understand the freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to abuse, which pushes women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other marginalized groups out of online spaces. The Center for Countering Digital Hate will watching be keeping a watchful eye on Twitter and its new owner’s changes to try to ensure the platform doesn’t become even more polluted with hate speech and disinformation”

What are Elon Musk’s political beliefs?

Saturday 29 October 2022 03:02 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: “I prefer to stay out of politics” - those were Elon Musk’s words when the tech exec was forced to respond to a claim by Texas governor Greg Abbott that he supported the state’s anti-abortion laws.

If so, Mr Musk has a funny way of showing it. Over his decade-plus of public fame as the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, the South-African-born tycoon has attacked everyone and everything, from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders through individual regulatory officials to Covid rules, trade unions, and “pronouns”.

In May, he capped off months of criticism of US president Joe Biden by revealing that in the past he had “overwhelmingly” voted for Democrats, but would now switch his support to Republicans in at least one future election.

“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division and hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican,” he said.

Io Dodds has more.

What are Elon Musk’s political beliefs?

GM temporarily suspends advertising on Twitter

Saturday 29 October 2022 02:02 , Graeme Massie

Automaker GM says it has suspended its advertising on Elon Musk’s Twitter.

The Detroit-based company told CNBC that is was “pausing” its spend as it evaluates how the platform will change under the billionaire.

GM is a direct rival to Mr Musk’s Tesla brand and ays it will continue to use Twitter to interact with customers but not pay for adverts.

“We are engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership. As is normal course of business with a significant change in a media platform, we have temporarily paused our paid advertising. Our customer care interactions on Twitter will continue,” the company said in a statement.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Elon Musk wants twitter to be funny

Saturday 29 October 2022 01:01 , Graeme Massie

“Comedy is now legal on Twitter,” the billionaire, who once hosted Saturday Night Live, tweeted on Friday.

Best Twitter alternatives as Elon Musk buys social media site

Saturday 29 October 2022 00:00 , Graeme Massie

For those thinking about moving to another platform as Mr Musk takes over Twitter, it might not be as easy as it sounds.

Twitter’s influence is inflated by the presence of journalists, who often announce breaking news on the platform, as well as celebrities, and finally, the specific kind of virality on the platform that can give any user 15 minutes of fame - for good or ill.

The app’s small number of users, and features like the Quote Tweet button, means it is likely many people could see one, super-viral piece of content that then sets the discourse - which then repeats daily.

That content could be from TikTok, or Reddit, or Instagram, or another website - which have all stolen enough of each others’ features to be easily replicable across platforms. All of this is to say that, in looking for a Twitter alternative, users will not find one-to-one parity in the same way Instagram (or at least, its Reel’s subsection) competes with TikTok.

Best Twitter alternatives as Elon Musk buys social media site

Elon Musk has said he agrees with European social media laws

Friday 28 October 2022 23:01 , Graeme Massie

In May, Elon Musk said he agreed with a piece of European legislation that would levy huge fines on social media companies that do not adequately tackle misinformation, hate speech and other harmful content.

A video of Mr Musk, posted by Thierry Breton, the Commissioner for the Internal Market, showed the billionaire seemingly agreeing with the Digital Services Act, which will police the spread of misinformation and demands that platforms be more transparent about how their algorithms work.

“We’re in Austin together with Elon Musk”, Mr Breton said, “we discussed many issues and I was happy to explain to you the DSA, the new regulation in Europe, and now you understand very well, it fits pretty well with that you think we should do with the platform?”

Mr Musk replied: “Its exactly aligned with my thinking. It’s been a great discussion, and um, I really think, uh, I agree with everything you said, really. I think we’re very much of the same mind, and um, and uh, y’know, I think anything that, uh, my companies can do that would be beneficial to Europe, we want to do that, I just want to say”.

Elon Musk says he supports Twitter law that would take down legal but harmful content

Fired Twitter executives will be paid $122m by Elon Musk

Friday 28 October 2022 22:26 , Graeme Massie

The Tesla billionaire wasted no time in firing CEO Parag Agrawal; CFO Ned Segal; legal policy, trust and safety head Vijaya Gadde; and general counsel Sean Edgett after taking control of the company on Thursday.

But after spending $44bn to buy the social media platform, the world’s richest person will have to give the four ex-employees $122m, according to Reuters.

Mr Agrawal will get $57.4m, Mr Segal will receive $44.5m, and Ms Gadde will get $20m reported Reuters, citing corporate leadership data organisation Equilar.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

How to delete your Twitter account - and why you might want to as Elon Musk buys it

Friday 28 October 2022 22:01 , Graeme Massie

People may want to simply remove their Twitter account to avoid giving Mr Musk more money, power, and influence - in the same way people deleted their Facebook accounts as a backlash against the influence of Meta and ‘surveillance capitalism’.

Mr Musk recently made waves geopolitically by suggesting Ukraine permanently cede Crimea to Russia, something which earned the ire of President Volodymyr Zelensky and other former Ukrainian diplomats.

How to delete your Twitter account - and why you might want to as Elon Musk buys it

Celebrities threaten to leave Twitter as Elon Musk becomes owner

Friday 28 October 2022 21:25 , Graeme Massie

A number of celebrities are threatening to quit Twitter after Tesla billionaire Elon Musk bought the platform in a $44bn (£38.1bn) takeover.

Furvah Shah has the story for The Independent.

Celebrities threaten to leave Twitter as Elon Musk becomes owner

Elon Musk pledges to spend first day at Twitter helping user called ‘Catturd’

Friday 28 October 2022 20:45 , Graeme Massie

User claimed to have been ‘shadowbanned’ by the previous regime for Trump support.

Elon Musk pledges to spend first day at Twitter helping user called Catturd

Trump won’t be reinstated immediately

Friday 28 October 2022 20:02 , Phil Thomas

Elon Musk has revealed that banned users like former US president Donald Trump won’t be allowed back on Twitter immediately.

The new owner of the social media site released a statement on Friday morning to say that a “content moderation council” would be considering which accounts to reinstate.

He said: “Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

Earlier, Trump – the site’s most famous former user – welcomed Musk’s purchase of the site he has been banned from since the January 6 riots in 2021. Writing on his own Truth Social site, essentially a copy of Twitter but populated mostly by right-wingers, Trump said: “I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country. Twitter must now work hard to rid itself of all of the bots and fake accounts that have hurt it so badly. It will be much smaller, but better. I LOVE TRUTH!”

Trump has repeatedly said he will not return to Twitter even if his ban for inciting violence is lifted.

Bevan Hurley has the developing story:

Elon Musk says he won’t decide if Twitter accounts are reinstated

Twitter pauses features ahead of Elon Musk’s takeover

Friday 28 October 2022 18:30 , Adam Smith

Before Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the company had paused paid tickets to its live audio feature Spaces,

“We’ve paused the Ticketed Spaces test indefinitely so we can focus on continuing to improve and bring new features to the core Spaces experience,” a spokesperson told The Information in a statement

Trump says Twitter in ‘sane hands’ with Elon Musk: ‘I am very happy’

Friday 28 October 2022 18:00 , Adam Smith

Donald Trump celebrated Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter by posting on his own, very similar social media platform, Truth Social.

“TRUTH SOCIAL has become somewhat of a phenomena. Last week it had bigger numbers than all other platforms, including TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and the rest. It also looks and works better to my eye. I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country,” Mr Trump said. “Twitter must now work hard to rid itself of all of the bots and fake accounts that have hurt it so badly. It will be much smaller, but better. I LOVE TRUTH!”

Trump says Twitter in ‘sane hands’ with Elon Musk: ‘I am very happy’

Friday 28 October 2022 17:30 , Adam Smith

Elon Musk reportedly brought Tesla employees into Twitter’s headquarters where product leaders showed Tesla engineers the company’s code, in order to assess and explain to Mr Musk what the company needs, according to one of the people, Bloomberg reports.

Twitter’s engineers were banned from making changes to code as of noon in San Francisco, the people said, to ensure that nothing about the product changes ahead of the deal closing.

Twitter put on a similar freeze in April.

Mastodon pushes for new sign ups, claiming it’s ‘the way Twitter should have been’

Friday 28 October 2022 16:00 , Adam Smith

“Why choose Mastodon? Because it’s decentralized and open-source, it can’t be sold and won’t go bankrupt. It respects your privacy and gives control over the network to the people. It’s a product on top of a protocol, the way Twitter should have been”, the social media site tweeted.

Mastodon launched in 2016 and has around 4.5 million users. It launched an Android app in April this year.

The Android app launch comes just weeks after Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey expressed his regret for his part in making the internet a more centralised place.

“The days of Usenet, IRC, the web... even email (with PGP)... were amazing,” Mr Dorsey tweeted earlier this month. “Centralising discovery and identity into corporations really damaged the internet. I realise I’m partially to blame and I regret it.”

‘Decentralised Twitter’ app launches for billions of users

Twitter’s employees have been left in the dark about meetings

Friday 28 October 2022 13:45 , Adam Smith

While a meeting between Elon Musk and Twitter staff is rumoured for today, employees have not had any communication about it - nor their job security going forward.

Friday 28 October 2022 13:20 , Adam Smith

Far-right commentator Tim Pool, memes of whom Elon Musk has shared in the past to allege Twitter’s ‘far left bias’, is speculating that many banned users will now be allowed back onto the platform.

Friday 28 October 2022 13:10 , Adam Smith

Elon Musk has also claimed he will be looking into far-right figures being ‘shadowbanned, ghostbanned, [and] searchbanned’.

Friday 28 October 2022 12:30 , Adam Smith

Sophie Zhang, the Facebook whistleblower, has said that Mr Musk’s actions while in control of Twitter are unforseeable.

“Elon Musk is the equivalent of a politician promising to cut taxes, increase military/social spending, and eliminate the national debt”, she said.

“All of these ideas sound excellent to the aam admi, but are collectively impossible. You hence have no idea what he will do now in-office.”

Ms Zhang used Mr Musk’s changing view of free speech, as well as other policies, as an example.

Elon Musk reportedly tried to drop his bid to buy Twitter by 30 per cent

Friday 28 October 2022 11:30 , Adam Smith

ICYMI: Mr Musk has also raised concerns about Twitter’s financials, reportedly attempting to negotiate a 30 per cent discount on his $44bn deal.

With a two-day deposition pending ahead of a trial in Delaware starting on 17 October, the billionaire sent a letter to the Twitter board announcing he intended to complete the deal.

But in the weeks before that Mr Musk attempted to get Twitter to agree to a proposal that would have valued the company at around $31bn, three people with knowledge of events told The New York Times.

Mr Musk agreed to buy the company for $54.20 a share in April.

Friday 28 October 2022 11:00 , Adam Smith

Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former top lawyer, had received a baragge of criticism from Mr Musk before his buyout.

Ms Gadde had been criticised by conservatives for being Twitter’s “top censorship advocate”, as Twitter took down links to the New York Post’s story about a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the president’s son.

Replying to a tweet from far-right writer Mike Cernovich, who claimed Twitter deputy general counsel Jim Baker “facilitated fraud,” Mr Musk said the claim “sounds pretty bad.”

Following that, Ms Gadde received a wave of racist and hateful abuse on Twitter.

Mr Musk also claimed Ms Gadde was partly responsible for Twitter’s ‘left wing bias’. Twitter’s policies at the time were decided by then chief executive Jack Dorsey.

Twitter executives receive huge payout

Friday 28 October 2022 10:00 , Adam Smith

Upon takeover, Mr Musk saw the chief executive, chief financial officer, and top lawyer at Twitter leave the building.

Mr Agrawal, the former head of Twitter, will receive the largest payout of $38.7 million.

Ned Segal, Twitter’s chief financial officer, is set to receive a $25.4 million payout.

Vijaya Gadde, the chief legal officer, will leave with $12.5 million.

Sarah Personette, the chief customer officer, would get $11.2 million.

Elon Musk tells staff: "bring code”

Friday 28 October 2022 09:30 , Adam Smith

Mr Musk appears to be interested in the technical capabilities of Twitter, according to Insider.

“The very evening the deal was signed, engineering team managers hastily messaged their staffers. Meetings with Musk had been scheduled for Friday morning with a simple directive: ‘bring code.’”

Twitter’s chairman changes bio

Friday 28 October 2022 09:15 , Adam Smith

Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor has already changed his Twitter bio, removing mention that he was at the head of the company.

“The bird is freed"

Friday 28 October 2022 09:00 , Adam Smith

Elon Musk, having completed the takeover of Twitter, has now said that the “bird is freed”

Musk hints at major update to Twitter

Friday 28 October 2022 08:32 , Graeme Massie

Elon Musk has hinted that he plans a major update to Twitter if his deal to buy the platform goes ahead.

He has previously shared his intention to follow through with the deal, as well as ideas on how he might change Twitter once he is in charge.

The latest indication of what he plans to do with Twitter involves an integrated video feature that would compete with YouTube and generate additional revenue for the app.

Anthony Cuthbertson reports.

Elon Musk hints at major update to Twitter

Self-proclaimed ‘socialist’ to ‘red pill’ anti-lockdown crusader: What are Elon Musk’s politics?

Friday 28 October 2022 07:31 , Graeme Massie

The Tesla and SpaceX tycoon has donated to both parties and attacked everyone from Joe Biden through Donald Trump to trade unions and ‘pronouns’, but underneath it all there is a consistent ideology, writes Io Dodds.

What are Elon Musk’s political beliefs?

Elon Musk wants to ‘buy the Twitter name, then gut it’, ex-employee claims

Friday 28 October 2022 07:02 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Mr Musk’s intentions with Twitter are nebulous. The billionaire has tweeted that buying the site was “an accelerant” to creating an app called X. Mr Musk has had access to the X.com domain since 2000, during which time he was working on PayPal.

The Tesla boss has spoken broadly in the past about his support for the idea of an “everything app” – a single place where users can access most, if not all, of their favourite online services and utilities.

In China, a version of the everything app idea already exists in WeChat, which began life as a messaging platform similar to WhatsApp, but has since become a mini-internet within a single app – allowing users to do everything from share social media-style posts with friends to getting news, making mobile payments, booking restaurants and ordering taxis. Nothing similar exists in the West.

However, other employees have suggested Mr Musk will “buy the Twitter name, then completely gut and change it”, adding that, “speaking to people there, nobody feels safe in their job. I just don’t understand how it’s going to work as a company. There’s a mad attempt to restructure in some places to save face. It feels like the perfect time to try and get out — or prepare yourself for what’s going to happen.”

Elon Musk wants to ‘buy the Twitter name, then gut it’, ex-employee claims

Elon Musk’s worst tweets: From freelance diplomacy to personal insults

Friday 28 October 2022 06:28 , Graeme Massie

The world’s richest man and CEO of multiple companies always finds time for a good Twitter troll.

Bevan Hurley has the story.

Elon Musk’s worst tweets: From freelance diplomacy to personal insults

Elon Musk’s free speech ideals could cause problems

Friday 28 October 2022 06:09 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Mr Musk has said he seeking to roll back provisions limiting hate-speech and other violent comments on Twitter, as well as reinstating Donald Trump’s access to the platform.

But Mr Musk has also been linked to Kanye West’s recent antisemitism scandal.

Mr West’s latest controversy began during Paris Fashion Week, during which he and right-wing commentator Candace Owens wore “White Lives Matter” t-shirts. After a backlash, Mr West shared conspiracy theories on social media, including suggesting that rapper Diddy was being controlled by Jewish people.

When his account was suspended, West tweeted that he was going to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE”.

Since then, Mr West has announced he is buying the right-wing social media app Parler, which has a history of being banned by Apple and Google and was used to coordinate the January 6th riots.

Mr Musk tweeted shortly after an image playing on the Dragon Ball anime series, where two characters can fuse together into a more powerful being by touching fingers. In his version, the Tesla founder is edited onto one character, along with a Twitter logo, while West’s face is superimposed onto another, with the logo of Parler, the right-wing social network West recently purchased.

“Fun times ahead!” Mr Musk wrote below the image. Hours later, that same tweet was deleted without comment from the Tesla chief executive.

Elon Musk deletes tweet that hinted at collaboration with Kanye West

Who owns Twitter and why is it being sold to Elon Musk?

Friday 28 October 2022 05:32 , Graeme Massie

Eccentric tech billionaire Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla and SpaceX, appears to be completing his long mooted $44bn takeover of Twitter.

Who owns Twitter and why is it being sold to Elon Musk?

Elon Musk ‘fires Twitter executive’ who banned Trump as speculation mounts he could return to platform

Friday 28 October 2022 05:10 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Elon Musk has fired the Twitter executive who banned Donald Trump as speculation mounts that the former president could return to the platform.

The one-term president was banned by Twitter’s previous board in the wake of the pro-Trump insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6 202 and was forced to set up his own social media site, Truth Social.

Read the full story by Graeme Massie here:

Elon Musk ‘fires Twitter executive’ who banned Trump as speculation mounts on return

“Liberate Twitter from the censorship happy mob”, Joe Rogan told Elon Musk

Friday 28 October 2022 05:06 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Mr Musk’s approach to Twitter could also be influenced by podcast host Joe Rogan, whose messages to the billionaire were revealed by legal deposition ahead of the trial that now, it seems, will not take place.

Mr Rogan told Mr Musk that he should “liberate Twitter from the censorship happy mob” when he owns Twitter, new texts reveal.

“I will provide advice, which they may or may not choose to follow,” Mr Musk told Mr Rogan in response.

Joe Rogan told Elon Musk to ‘liberate Twitter’, private texts show

What will Twitter look like under Elon Musk?

Friday 28 October 2022 04:59 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Elon Musk has completed his takeover of Twitter and is now in control of one of the most influential social media platforms.

After a protracted saga around the acquisition, the biggest questions now are how will Mr Musk run Twitter and how might it change? Here is a closer look at some of the biggest and most controversial changes that could be coming:

What will Twitter look like under Elon Musk?

Elon Musk has bought Twitter. Now what?

Friday 28 October 2022 04:29 , Graeme Massie

Elon Musk has promised to make big changes to Twitter as part of his goal of making it an ‘everything app’ with one billion users. Tech experts say he has his work cut out, Bevan Hurley reports.

Elon Musk has bought Twitter. Now what?

Will Elon Musk put Donald Trump back on Twitter?

Friday 28 October 2022 04:03 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Mr Musk messaged one or more unknown individuals about ”letting right wingers back on Twitter” including, it seems, former president Donald Trump who was banned from the platform in January 2021 because of the “risk of further incitement of violence” after the Capitol Hill riots.

Several messages between Elon Musk and key figures at Twitter – including founder Jack Dorsey, board chair Bret Taylor and current head Parag Agrawal – were released as a part of the ongoing documentation ahead of Elon Musk’s trial against Twitter.

“It will be a delicate game of letting right wingers back on Twitter and how to navigate that (especially the boss himself, if you’re up for that)”, the message reads,

“I would also lay out the standards early but have someone who has a savvy cultural/political view to be the VP of actual enforcement. A Blake Masters type.”

Joe Rogan told Elon Musk to ‘liberate Twitter’, private texts show

Will Elon Musk allow Donald Trump back on Twitter?

Friday 28 October 2022 03:31 , Graeme Massie

The one-term president was exiled from Facebook and Twitter after January 6 riot and started his own platform Truth Social.

John Bowden has the story.

Would Elon Musk allow Donald Trump back on Twitter?

Elon Musk reveals what he wants to do with Twitter

Friday 28 October 2022 03:08 , Josh Marcus

Elon Musk has tweeted his plans for Twitter and how it might moderate content, ahead of his purchase of the social media site.

The post has reneged on his ‘free speech absolutism’, as he says Twitter “cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.” Previously, Mr Musk said that he was “against censorship that goes beyond the law” - a rule that, in the United States, would have caused trouble for Twitter’s moderators by potentially allowing Holocaust denial.

“I also very much believe that advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform you; it can show you a service or product or medical treatment that you never knew existed, but is right for you. For this to be true, it is essential to show Twitter users advertising that is as relevant as possible to their needs. Low relevancy ads are spam, but highly relevant ads are actually content!”

Mr Musk also claimed that there was a “great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”

Mr Musk has previously claimed that Twitter “obv has a strong left wing bias”, despite the company’s own studies that its algorithm amplifies right-wing news outlets more than others.

Elon Musk says what he wants to do with Twitter

Elon Musk’s scandal-filled year

Friday 28 October 2022 02:30 , Josh Marcus

Elon Musk hasn’t just been making headlines this year with his acquistion of Twitter.

This summer, it came out that the Tesla CEO secretly fathered twins with a high-ranking executive in November of 2021, weeks before the birth of his second child with partner Grimes.

Elon Musk congratulates Nick Cannon on growing his family

He was also accused of sexually harassing a flight attendant on a private jet, which he has denied.

Elon Musk denies exposing himself to flight attendent on private jet

Elon Musk calls Truth Social a ‘rightwing echo chamber’

Friday 28 October 2022 02:15 , Josh Marcus

ICYMI: Elon Musk has criticised Donald Trump’s Truth Social in the past, calling it an echo chamber.

In an interview with The Financial Times published on Friday, Mr Musk admitted that he knows more headaches are coming his way if his ongoing Twitter bid materialises. However, the Tesla founder said that is a sacrifice he is willing to make in order to protect free speech.

Mr Musk said he is on a personal quest to keep discourse on the social network from becoming one-sided, as Truth Social’s content has become for the right.

“[Truth Social] is essentially a rightwing echo chamber,” Mr Musk told the Times. “It might as well be called Trumpet.”

But in May, Mr Musk also said that he doesn’t think it was appropriate to ban Trump from Twitter, adding that “it was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”

Musk calls Truth Social ‘rightwing echo chamber’ that should be named after Trump

A momentous day for the tech industry

Friday 28 October 2022 02:05 , Josh Marcus

If today is in fact the day Elon Musk has formally taken over Twitter, it would mark a momentous day in the tech industry.

As the Tesla billionaire assumes control, his rival Mark Zuckerberg at Meta has been struggling with a precipitously plunging stock price.

Here’s Martyn Landi with more information on what’s going on the company FKA Facebook.

Meta stock: What is going wrong for Mark Zuckerberg?

Elon Musk begins takeover of Twitter as top executives including Parag Agrawal fired, report says

Friday 28 October 2022 02:02 , Josh Marcus

Elon Musk’s takeover is under way after he fired three top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, according to the Washington Post.

The billionaire is also said to have sacked chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, as he moved ahead with his $44bn purchase of the social media company.

Graeme Massie is following this breaking news story for The Independent.

Musk begins Twitter takeover as top executives fired, report says

Elon Musk reportedly fires top executives as takeover formally commences

Friday 28 October 2022 01:56 , Josh Marcus

Three top executives at Twitter—CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and legal chief Vijaya Gadde—have all been fired, The Washington Post reports, as Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media site formally begins.

Mr Musk has previously clashed with Mr Agrawal during the billionaire’s rocky acquisition bid for Twitter.

In May, the Tesla billionaire even resorted to sending the CEO a message with a poop emoji as the two clashed publicly over issues like the extent of bots on Twitter.

Elon Musk sends obscene emoji to Twitter boss

Twitter employees worry about Elon Musk

Friday 28 October 2022 01:05 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Following the news that Mr Musk might gut the company after purchasing it, Twitter employees have written an open letter to the billionaire.

“Elon Musk’s plan to lay off 75% of Twitter workers will hurt Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation,” the letter says, going on to say that “a threat of this magnitude is reckless, undermines our users’ and customers’ trust in our platform, and is a transparent act of worker intimidation.”

In a list of demands, the employees ask that Mr Musk not discriminate based on political belief and preserve Twitter’s existing employees. “We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires,” it says.

Twitter had already fired 30 per cent of its recruitment team, as well as two high-profile leads.

Twitter employees demand Elon Musk ‘treat them with dignity’ not like ‘pawns’

Elon Musk is ‘a politician promising to cut taxes'

Friday 28 October 2022 08:46 , Adam Smith

Sophie Zhang, the infamous Facebook whistleblower, has said that people “have no idea what [Elon Musk] will do now in-office”.

Ms Zhang compared Mr Musk to a “politician promising to cut taxes, increase military/social spending, and eliminate the national debt” - ideas which sound good, but he may renege on.

Ms Zhang used examples of Mr Musk’s changing view on free speech and other policies.

Twitter shares to be suspended on NYSE

Friday 28 October 2022 00:01 , Graeme Massie

ICYMI: Twitter Inc shares will be suspended from trading tomorrow, the New York Stock Exchange’s website showed, as Elon Musk faces a court-ordered deadline to close his $44bn deal.

Equity investors, including Sequoia Capital, Binance, Qatar Investment Authority and others, have received the requisite paperwork for the financing commitment from Musk’s lawyers, Reuters reported.

The completion of the deal would also mark an end to a lawsuit by Twitter, which expects the deal to be completed on its original terms of $54.20 per share.

Musk brings Tesla engineers into Twitter

Thursday 27 October 2022 22:23 , Graeme Massie

The Tesla CEO asked engineers from his automotive company to meet with product leaders from the social media platform on Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

Twitter staff showed their Tesla opposites the company’s code so that they could reportedly assess it and tell Mr Musk what it needed, sources told the news organisation.

Twitter’s engineers reportedly cannot make any changes to the code as of 12pm on Thursday so nothing is changed before the prospective deal closes on Friday.

Ben Shapiro attacks ‘fuming mad’ Twitter staff

Thursday 27 October 2022 21:03 , Graeme Massie

The right-wing commentator took to Twitter to post a video in which he slammed employees at the social media platform for having misgivings about Elon Musk becoming their boss.

“The employees over at Twitter are fuming mad that Elon Musk is taking over. They’re demanding that they not be treated like ‘pawns in a game played by billionaires.’ Meanwhile, the rest of us are pawns in their game of censorship on an open platform. The hypocrisy is ridiculous.”

Twitter staff meet Musk over coffee at HQ

Thursday 27 October 2022 19:47 , Graeme Massie

Elon Musk retweeted a picture posted by author Walter Isaacson, which shows the billionaire chatting with staff at the company’s coffee bar.

Musk intends to take Twitter public again within five years, report says

Thursday 27 October 2022 19:32 , Graeme Massie

Bloomberg has reported that after taking Twitter private with his $44bn deal for the social media platform, Mr Musk intends to take it public again within “three to five years.”

Head of RT begs Elon Musk to ‘unban’ Russian propaganda outfit

Thursday 27 October 2022 19:18 , Graeme Massie

Margarita Simonyan took to Twitter to plead with the billionaire to unban the pro-Kremlin propaganda networks.

“Since you’re all for free speech, maybe unban RT and Sputnik accounts and take the shadow ban off mine as well?” she tweeted.

Elon Musk net worth: Visualising the Tesla and SpaceX boss’ wealth in three charts

Thursday 27 October 2022 18:00 , Adam Smith

Elon Musk has overtaken Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person, having seen his wealth rise from $25 billion to nearly $200bn in less than a year.

The billionaire polymath is best known as the boss of electric car company Tesla and private rocket firm SpaceX, however he also heads brain-tech startup Neuralink and The Boring Company, which aims to “solve traffic” in cities by digging tunnel networks.

Before any of these ventures, Musk gained notoriety in Silicon Valley as the co-founder of online payments platform X.com, which went on to become PayPal.

Each new project has been financed, at least in part, by funds generated from previous business successes, with each new effort becoming ever more ambitious.

Visualising Elon Musk’s vast wealth in three charts

Self-proclaimed ‘socialist’ to ‘red pill’ anti-lockdown crusader: What are Elon Musk’s politics?

Thursday 27 October 2022 17:30 , Adam Smith

Over Mr Musk’s decade-plus of public fame as the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, the South-African-born tycoon has attacked everyone and everything, from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders through individual regulatory officials to Covid rules, trade unions, and “pronouns”.

In May, he capped off months of criticism of US president Joe Biden by revealing that in the past he had “overwhelmingly” voted for Democrats, but would now switch his support to Republicans in at least one future election.

“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division and hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican,” he said.

What are Elon Musk’s political beliefs?

How Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover impacted its share price

Thursday 27 October 2022 17:00 , Adam Smith

Elon Musk’s activity has had a tumultuous impact on Twitter’s stock.

News of Mr Musk’s investment in the company caused the share price to soar to nearly $50.

Mr Musk then offered to buy the company for $54.20 per share, before saying he was placing the deal “temporarily on hold” and subsequently taking legal action to try to renege on the deal.

The share price has been yo-yoing ever since.

When Twitter sued to enforce the deal in July Mr Musk counter-sued, causing the stock to plunge back to the mid-March depths of $33.

How Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover impacted its share price

Twitter could have an in-built YouTube competitor, Elon Musk hints

Thursday 27 October 2022 16:30 , Adam Smith

Twitter could develop an integrated video feature that would compete with YouTube and generate additional revenue for the app, a singular tweet from Mr Musk has suggested.

A Twitter user posted a thread stating: “Once @elonmusk takes over, I wonder if @TwitterSpaces platform can evolve towards video and compete with @YouTube for content creation...

“It is insane that Twitter has not currently implemented a YouTube clone. Half my tweets are links to YouTube videos. Twitter does not capture any value here. If users could watch monetised videos on Twitter, Twitter would capture ad revs and massively increase [revenues].”

Responding to a Twitter thread about how this might be implemented, Mr Musk posted a winking face emoji.

Elon Musk hints at major update to Twitter

Twitter users have a growing more interested in crypto and pornography

Thursday 27 October 2022 16:00 , Adam Smith

A recent internal report from Twitter demonstrated some of the issues the platform is facing: that Twitter’s highest-growing topics of interest are cryptocurrency and pornography.

Interest in other topics - news, sports and entertainment – has been declining among English-speaking ‘heavy users’.

A "heavy tweeter" is a user defined that logs in to Twitter six or seven days a week, and tweets about three to four times a week.

These people account for under 10 per cent of all users, but generate 90 per cent of tweets and half of the company’s global revenue.

They have been in “absolute decline” since the start of the pandemic, the report says, although no specific conclusions were made about why that would be.

Twitter users are growing more interested in crypto and pornography

Elon Musk plans to cut Twitter’s staff

Thursday 27 October 2022 12:00 , Adam Smith

Mr Musk might have entered Twitter as a meme - let that sink in - but the real consequences of his takeover might be yet to hit the employees of the social media company.

The Tesla billionaire told prospective investors in his deal to buy Twitter that he intends to reduce the company’s staff from around 7,500 down to just over 2,000, reports The Washington Post.

Twitter’s current board had already planned to reduce wages at the company by around $800m by the end of 2023 and reduce staff by 25 per cent, according to the newspaper.

Mr Musk’s comments about free speech and open debate on the platform could see significant cuts to Twitter’s curation and content moderation - which could make the social media site a much worse place for users to be on.

Musk plans to cut Twitter staff by nearly 75 per cent, according to leaked documents

Dogecoin soars as Musk nears Twitter deal completion

Thursday 27 October 2022 09:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Dogecoin, the popular meme coin, rallied nearly 16 per cent over the past 24 hours as Elon Musk nears the completion of his $44bn Twitter deal.

The Tesla chief has been a major supporter of dogecoin, which has constantly influenced its price.

In June, the billionaire said he would continue buying dogecoin despite the meme-inspired cryptocurrency losing more than 90 per cent of its value over the last 13 months.

“I will keep supporting dogecoin,” he had tweeted.

Musk chats with Twitter staff over coffee

Thursday 27 October 2022 07:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Billionaire Elon Musk, who visited the Twitter headquarters yesterday ahead of closing his $44bn purchasing deal, spent time talking with the staff over coffee.

Twitter’s account manager of customer success Noemi Khachian shared a picture of the soon-to-be boss from the San Francisco office. “Welcome!!! Elon Musk,” she wrote.

“Welcome to the office Elon Musk. Nice chatting with you at an impromptu coffee chat in the perch,” wrote Nate Esparza, technical operations manager at Twitter.

Would Elon Musk allow Donald Trump back on Twitter?

Thursday 27 October 2022 07:04 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Former president Donald Trump remains one of the toughest headaches for managers of social media platforms to date.

With Elon Musk on the verge of closing in the $44bn purchasing deal, one big question looms - What would a Musk takeover of Twitter mean for the 45th president.

Sequestered away at Mar-a-Lago surrounded by only his closest supporters, Mr Trump has done nothing to reform his conduct following bans from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in early 2021 — a consequence of his false claims about the 2020 election fomenting a deadly riot at the US Capitol.

John Bowden has more.

Would Elon Musk allow Donald Trump back on Twitter?

How Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover impacted its share price

Thursday 27 October 2022 06:32 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A combination of inflation fears and increasing interest rates saw advertising spending on the social media platform plunge, causing Twitter’s stock price to fall from around $63 at the height of the bull market in November to under $33.

But unbeknownst to shareholders, one of Twitter’s most prominent and active users had been quietly buying up shares in the company for several months.

Elon Musk began accumulating Twitter stock in January, and by mid-March he had amassed a five per cent stake in the company.

Bevan Hurley explains how the billionaire’s dalliance with purchasing the platform caused its stock price to frequently fluctuate.

How Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover impacted its share price

Musk tells Twitter employees he will not cut 75 per cent of jobs

Thursday 27 October 2022 06:03 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Elon Musk told Twitter employees that he does not plan to cut 75 per cent of the staff when he acquires the company, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Tesla chief denied the previously reported number in an address to employees at the company’s San Francisco office yesterday.

According to a Washington Post report, the billionaire had told prospective investors that he intends to reduce the company’s staff from around 7,500 down to just over 2,000 after the takeover.

Mr Musk is still expected to cut staff as part of the takeover.

Musk walks into Twitter HQ with a sink

Thursday 27 October 2022 05:51 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Billionaire Elon Musk shared a video of him walking into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters carrying a kitchen sink ahead of the Friday deadline to close the $44bn purchase deal.

“Entering Twitter HQ - let that sink in!” Mr Musk wrote.

He also updated his Twitter bio to read “Chief Twit” and changed his location to “Twitter HQ”.

In the following tweet, Mr Musk wrote: “Meeting a lot of cool people at Twitter today!”

Thursday 27 October 2022 05:02 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of Elon Musk’s Twitter deal.