Musk Dismisses The Board While Promoting Paid Twitter Verification

On March 22, 2022, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, was present for the inauguration of the Tesla factory in Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany. As he starts his first week as the owner of the social media network, Musk has already proposed significant improvements for Twitter, but he still faces significant obstacles. The new owner of Twitter disbanded the board of directors and replaced them with himself, according to a corporate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, October 31, 2022.

Twitter’s new owner

According to a company filing submitted Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter’s new owner dismissed the board of directors and replaced them with himself as the board’s lone member. Later, Musk claimed on Twitter that the new board structure is “temporary,” although he gave no further information.

In addition, he is testing the idea of charging consumers for authentication. What would people be willing to pay for the blue checkmark Twitter uses to confirm more well-known accounts so that other users can recognize them? Was the query posed in a poll that a Musk-affiliated venture capitalist tweeted?

“Interesting,” Musk’s verified account reacted.

Critics have criticized the mark as an exclusive status symbol because it is commonly granted to journalists, politicians, business people, and celebrities.

However, Twitter also uses the blue check mark as an extra tool to counter false information spread by accounts that impersonate real people by verifying activists, people who unexpectedly find themselves in the news, and obscure journalists at regional publications throughout the globe.

Musk tweeted on Sunday in response to a user’s request for help with the paid Twitter verification process, “The entire verification method is being redone right now.”

As a result of rolling over $1.89 billion in Twitter shares on Friday, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his Kingdom Holding Company surpassed Musk as the second-largest stockholder in the business. Several legislators, including Democrat senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, expressed concern over the information.

Murphy wrote on Twitter that he had requested the Committee on Foreign Stake, which evaluates foreign investors’ purchases of American businesses, to consider the implications of the kingdom’s stake in Twitter for national security.

Murphy tweeted that it was concerning that Saudi Arabia was now the second-largest owner of a significant social media site and had an “obvious interest in restricting political expression and having an impact on U.S. politics.” “CFIUS should conduct a review since there is a clear national security issue at stake.”

After assuming control of the social networking platform, Musk asked confident investors and acquaintances from the tech industry to help with the company’s makeover, which will probably involve staff changes. CEO Parag Agrawal and other key executives were sacked by Musk last week.

It has been unclear whether or when he might start making more significant layoffs.

San Jose State University associate finance professor Matthew Faulkner predicted that there would be many layoffs. Faulkner brought out the necessity for cost-cutting following Musk’s expensive purchase of Twitter and the platform’s ongoing challenges with making a profit. Musk may also want to quickly weed out staff members who don’t support his mission to provide those who make sense of security.

Faulkner added that you don’t want your staff to run around in fear. That doesn’t inspire people, she said.

Others who have said they are helping Musk include a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which agreed back in the spring to contribute to Musk’s effort to buy the company and take it private.

Former Twitter product executive Krishnan asserted in a tweet that Elon Musk is the one who can make it happen, calling the firm “a huge company that can have a huge effect on the globe.”

Jason Calacanis, a venture capitalist, said over the weekend that he is “hanging around at Twitter a little bit and just trying to be as helpful as possible throughout the switch,” adding that he tweeted the poll asking users if they would pay for verification.

The team “has a pervasive plan to limit the amount (and visibility of) bots, spammers, & negative actors on the network,” according to Calacanis. Additionally, he polled Twitter users to see if they would be willing to pay $5 to $15 per month to “be verified & obtain a blue checkmark” on Twitter. Because Twitter relies on advertising for funding, most users can currently use it for free.

Musk agreed to acquire Twitter for $44 billion in April. Still, the transaction wasn’t finalized until Thursday night after attempts to back out resulted in a drawn-out legal battle with the company. Musk’s attorneys requested that the Delaware Chancery Court dismiss the case, according to a court document on Monday. If they didn’t reach an agreement by the end of last week, the two parties were supposed to go to trial in November.

Since the beginning of the year, Musk has made several statements about improving Twitter, but it is yet unknown which suggestions he will prioritize.

He promised to loosen some of Twitter’s content restrictions to protect free speech. However, he cautioned on Friday that unless a “content moderation committee” with a range of viewpoints is established, no critical decisions on the content or the restoration of banned accounts will be made. Later, he tweeted, “Anyone suspended for minor & doubtful reasons will be released from Twitter jail,” to add a qualifier to that assertion.

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter

The CEO of a cryptocurrency exchange that contributed $500 million to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter said there were several reasons why the deal had his support, including the possibility that Musk would convert Twitter into a company that supported cryptocurrencies and the idea of Web3, which many cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe will usher in the next generation of the internet.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told CNBC on Monday, “We want to make sure that cryptocurrency has a seat at the table regarding free speech. Additionally, there are more tactical issues, such as our desire to assist Twitter in integrating with Web3 when it is ready.

He claimed that several of Musk’s current problems, like the idea of charging a premium membership fee for additional people, might be resolved with the help of cryptocurrencies.

He said cryptocurrency might be used as a form of payment to accomplish that quickly and worldwide.

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