Twitter users will “benefit” from Elon Musk’s decision to back out of the deal to buy the company, some experts say.
The Tesla and SpaceX chief’s $44bn (£36.5bn) bid to buy the social media platform appeared to be on the brink of collapse on Friday, after he sent a letter saying he would cancel the takeover.
In the letter, Musk’s lawyers said the platform “has failed to meet its contractual obligations” around the deal, namely giving him enough information to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on the platform.” Twitter.”
Twitter said in response that it is “committed to closing the transaction” and plans to “take legal action” to finalize the deal.
Adam Leon Smith, of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and software testing expert, told PA news agency: “The number of spam accounts on Twitter is neither a secret nor a surprise.
“Twitter is like a town square, open to all to shout insults and compliments as they see fit.
“That is his greatest strength and weakness at the same time.
“Keeping free speech out of the hands of billionaires can only be in the best interest of the general public.
“Whoever owns Twitter, the challenges for all social networks are how to manage dissent and debate in a way that ends hate speech online and keeps people safe.
“These have yet to be fully resolved in the UK’s Online Safety Bill, which must balance technical and regulatory solutions with education.
“Maybe the upcoming global regulatory landscape influenced Mr. Musk’s decision, or maybe it was all just another PR stunt.”
Musk’s interest in the number of spammy accounts on Twitter is believed to be related to his proposed plans to further monetize the platform’s user base.
The billionaire also said he wanted to bolster free speech on the platform and turn it into a digital public square for debate, but raised concerns after saying he would reverse a permanent ban imposed on former US President Donald Trump, who was ousted. the site to incite violence surrounding the riots in the US Capitol building last year.
Paul Bernal, professor of information technology law at the University of East Anglia, said: “The main thing to say is that the current situation is not unexpected: many of us have been thinking that Musk was having second thoughts and has been looking for a way out.
“Owning Twitter sounds ‘great’ but the reality would not be easy, it would not be fun and it would not be particularly lucrative.
“This is a reflection of how difficult ‘free speech’ is in general, a lot of people, particularly in the US, seem to imagine that all you do is ‘stop censoring’ and then everything will be fine, but it’s actually much more nuanced and multifaceted than that.
“Whatever you do has implications and it will upset one group or another.”
A statement from the Twitter Board said: “We are committed to closing the transaction at the price and terms agreed with Mr. Musk and plan to take legal action to enforce the merger agreement.
“We are confident that we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.”