Ultra-billionaire and free speech champion Elon Musk has begun taking over Twitter! It was just announced that the Tesla CEO has taken a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, purchasing over 73 million shares worth nearly 3 billion dollars. And as such, Musk is now officially the largest shareholder in the company! Musk’s 9.2 percent stake is quadruple the 2.25 percent stake that the founder, Jack Dorsey, has! He owns four-times worth of Twitter stock than its founder owns!
Just before the purchase, Musk had tweeted out a poll to his 80 million-plus followers on Twitter, stating a proposition and then asking a question: ‘Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?’ 70 percent of respondents responded ‘No,’ and keep in mind that Elon Musk conducted this poll on Twitter! He used the platform to indict the platform! Now, just days after that poll was taken, and just days after Musk reaffirmed his absolute commitment to free speech, Musk is now the single largest shareholder in Twitter! It’s like watching a movie unfold! Twitter’s stock soared by 21 percent today after the news was announced, and analysts are arguing that this surge suggests that investors believe that this is just the beginning for Musk. While he’s currently classified as a passive investor, just like you and I would be if we bought shares of Twitter, investors believe that this is most likely going to lead to something more, possibly even a buyout!
This soaring stock price contrasts when Twitter stock plunged by as much as 12 percent in a single day after the social-media company permanently suspended President Trump’s account and its 88 million followers back in January of last year, right? After January 6th! Business Insider reported that the share-price decline wiped out an astonishing 5 billion dollars from Twitter’s market capitalization. Isn’t it interesting; that the more Big Tech censors, the more they lose, whereas the more they champion free speech, the more they win? Duh, who would ever have thought? Yes, it’s simply the universal truth of the ancient maxim: get woke, go broke!
This calculus seems to be ushering in a new strategy with taking on the cancel culture that so pervades Big Tech! Up until this point, we’ve been seeing a phenomenon play out that scholars refer to as Techlash, which involves an increasing animus and worldwide hostility towards Big Tech oligarchies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google! This animosity has manifested itself in two ways. We might think of this as two fronts of this war against Big Tech censorship. On the one front, you have government intervention that seeks to regulate the Big Tech companies in some way, shape or form. On the other front, you have the rise of Alt-Tech; parallel social media companies like Rumble, Parler, Gab, Minds, Telegram, and Trump’s upcoming Truth Social! Now we are seeing a third front rise before us. This third front is billionaires like Elon Musk discovering that there’s a lot of money to be made if they take over a Big Tech company like Twitter in the name of free speech!
What we’re seeing today really is the antithesis to Get Woke, Go Broke! We are seeing something like Free Speech, Soaring Profits! Guard Liberty, Make Bank! We’ll have to come up with an excellent expression that captures the interrelationship between cancel culture and making lots and lots of money! Because once that relationship is recognized I think the Big Tech censorship nightmare is officially over! Once venture capitalists and investors realize that there is a voracious hunger, not just here but all over the world, to crush cancel culture once and for all then we may be seeing the beginning of the end here!
We now have polling that shows a dramatic decline in approval of Big Tech companies among users! Gallup’s tracking of public sentiment toward Big Tech found that support for the Big Tech giants fell from a high of 60 percent approval back in 2015 down to just 43 percent approval in 2019. The latest Gallup poll taken in 2021, found that public approval of Big Tech fell even further from 46 percent in 2020 to now just 34 percent today. Astonishingly 57 percent of those polled — nearly 60 percent – want more government regulation of Big Tech companies, up to nine points from 2019! So needless to say, techlash is growing by the day!
The significance of what Musk is doing here is he’s taking the next step beyond the polling; he sees the need, as evidenced by his poll on Twitter’s commitment to free speech; he knew what the answer would be, overwhelmingly! He’s now taking that data and going the next step by recognizing that there’s a severe amount of money to be made by actually solving this pain point for so many millions of social media users! This is just the beginning. Once investors see how much money they can make by solving the pain point, by buying out and canceling the cancel culture of the Big Tech social media giants, all bets are off! This third front may indeed be the final nail in the coffin! And if you think it through, this third front makes the Techlash that’s happening around the world rather holistic! In terms of the first front, we may need some government regulation, but I think most of us would rather keep the government out of things; in terms of the second front, we’re certainly all better off with a number of alternatives to the Big Tech companies, like Rumble and Telegram. Still, to be frank, they have yet to match the Big Tech companies in terms of their functionality! The third front of actually coming in and taking over the Big Tech companies appears to be the missing piece that Elon Musk is now fulfilling! The backlash against Big Tech is real, and with Musk’s latest buys, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of Silicon Valley cancel culture!