In April, billionaire businessman Elon Musk made headlines for his proposed $44 billion buyout of social media platform Twitter. Back then, he made a number of (often controversial) promises about the changes he would make as the platform’s new owner, most notably by implementing his own idea of ”free speech absolutism,” which would have substantially limited the number of reasons accounts were banned and even suggested reinstating former President Donald Trump. Many experts agreed that these proposed changes would have led to a massive spread of hate speech and misinformation on the already precarious platform.
However, things fell apart for Musk on July 8 when he decided to end the proposed acquisition, claiming that Twitter violated the end of the deal by lying about the number of spambot accounts, according to NPR. Twitter has since announced that it will take legal action against Musk for withdrawing from the deal.
For Musk critics, his failure to deliver on a promise that has dominated the headlines for months is self-evident; For his supporters, it’s yet another disappointment from a man who’s made much of his career from bluster and talk. Either way, his recent disaster has had critics roasting him left and right.
Elon Musk’s critics blast the billionaire on Twitter
Elon Musk probably didn’t get the reaction he hoped for from the platform he couldn’t acquire. “Absolutely stunned by this development that happened literally every time he promised anything,” tweeted television comedy writer Mike Drucker. Another user said Musk’s new announcement is “nothing compared to when he backed down from his $6 billion pledge to the UN to help end world hunger,” and activist Jack Cocchiarella added, ” If Elon Musk can afford to pay $1 billion NOT to buy Twitter, he can afford to pay his fair share of taxes.”
Others have linked Musk’s entrepreneurial failure to his personal struggles. “Elon Musk is retiring for the first time ever,” wrote journalist Laura Bassett, likely referring to his unexpectedly large number of children. Another said that announcement meant the billionaire was “as committed to running Twitter as he is to being a father,” likely in reference to his cracks with his kids.
Now Musk faces a major legal battle with the social media giant for violating his agreement, according to CNN, and Twitter is likely to ask the courts to enforce Musk’s acquisition via court order. Law professor Brian Quinn told the outlet this may not even be the end of the acquisition, as the deal could still potentially go through, just with a new asking price. As is the case with many Elon Musk stories, this one is certainly all but solved.