TWITTER fans are threatening to ditch the U.S. social media app following Elon Musk’s hostile takeover of the company.
The world’s richest man is splurging $44bn on the deal announced Monday, sparking outrage from some corners of the internet.
Many users have backed the 50-year-old’s plans to overhaul the app to make it more suited to his tastes as a “free speech absolutist”.
However, others argue that it will allow misinformation, abuse and hate speech to thrive on the website more than it already does.
The hashtags “#RIPTwitter” and “#DeleteTwitter” were trending on Tuesday morning.
One outraged Twitter user wrote: “Since Elon Musk is buying Twitter, we need a new social media site to go to that wont sell out to right wing nut jobs. Any suggestions?”
Another said: “I still think Elon Musk owning Twitter is a bad idea. He will amplify racists, bigots, and misinformation. He is a bad-faith actor with his distorted views of free speech and censorship.”
And a third tweeted: “Elon Musk buying Twitter for 44 billion dollars as simply as me buying my weekly food shop at Aldi is actually terrifying.”
Musk’s legion of fans was quick to spring to his defence, encouraging users who opposed the deal to leave the app.
One tweeted: “I can see you are leaving Twitter 🐦 hasta la vista baby 👋 Freedom of Speech to the moon🚀and back”.
Another said: “Let me get this straight, people are leaving Twitter because of the threat of… free speech?”
They added: “If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know I don’t know what will.”
Plenty of people saw the funny side of things, however, jesting that they’d be back on the app within minutes of quitting.
One Twitter fan joked: “If Elon Musk buys Twitter, I’m never signing in again until five minutes later when I’m bored and open the app without thinking.”
Musk offered to buy Twitter for $43billion (£34billion) in cash earlier this month and the bid was accepted on Monday.
The Tesla CEO previously described that amount as his “best and final offer.”
It will take several months to complete the takeover, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
The deal may still come as a surprise to many after a number of shareholders initially wanted to reject the offer for being too low.
Analysts weighed whether it was possible for Musk to move the funds across his portfolio to buy Twitter at $54.20 a share.
The price point was hardly arbitrary, as Musk is an open fan of jokes relating to 420, a number long associated with pot smoking.
The New York Times reported that Musk reached an agreement with investment bankers at Morgan Stanley to loan him about $25billion to help finance the deal – the rest Musk would put up in cash.
Musk’s ownership could see changes to Twitter.
Musk has long been vocal about freedom and speech and being “anti-censorship”.
Trump has since launched his own social media platform called Truth Social and has stated he won’t return to Twitter.
News of a deal sent Twitter stock soaring by nearly six per cent.
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