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Twitter chief tells staff he does not ‘know which direction the platform will go’ after Elon Musk buyout

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 (Getty Images)
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Twitter’s chief executive Parag Agrawal has said he does not “know which direction the platform will go” after the company was sold to Elon Musk.

Mr Agrawal made the comments hours after the company had announced the purchase for $44 billion to the Tesla billionaire.

Follow our live coverage of the reaction to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover

“There is indeed uncertainty about what will happen after the deal closes,” Mr Agrawal reportedly told staff according to The Verge.

He also said that whether controversial users, such as former president Donald Trump, would return to the platform, was a question better directed to Mr Musk. "We will find a way to bring Elon in for a Q&A," he said, according to Business Insider.

“We don’t have all the answers,” Mr Agrawal said. “This is a period of uncertainty.”

Many staff are reportedly concerned about layoffs, but the chief executive said that would not happen “at this time”. Mr Agrawal will remain head of the company until the deal has closed, which could take around six months, but it is unclear what will happen after that. Once the deal is closed the Twitter board, which is headed by Brett Taylor, will dissolve.

Mr Taylor was also asked why Twitter accepted Musk’s offer of $54.20 a share when the company’s stock traded above $70 less than one year ago.

Mr Taylor reportedly replied that the directors decided it was the best offer available.

"Based on the analysis and the perceived risk and perception of value, the board unanimously decided the offer from Elon represented the best value for our shareholders," he said.

Former Twitter head Jack Dorsey, who has since tweeted in support of Mr Musk taking the company private, voted in favour of the deal. "Jack is a member of the Twitter board and the vote was unanimous," Mr Taylor said. "The board no longer exists on the other end of this transaction."

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent before time of publication.

“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”, Mr Musk said in a statement.

“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. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Experts have pointed out that ‘free speech absolutism’ is difficult to maintain on a social network. In an recent interview, Mr Musk misinterpreted free speech laws and definitions, and claimed Twitter should “match the laws of the country” - an approach that was untenable when attempted by other platforms such as Parler and Gab.

Difficulties could also arise managing against the recent Online Safety Bill, which aims to tackle a wide range of harmful online content, from internet scams to cyberbullying to pornography and more.

This is all content that, under Mr Musk’s claimed free speech laws, would be allowed on Twitter and could flourish further – as spam bots could thrive and become more prominent after getting access to Twitter’s algorithm if it were made open source. Mr Musk has named cracking down on spam bots as a top priority under his ownership.

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