Elon Musk Warns: If Twitter Board ‘Takes Actions Contrary to Shareholder Interests, Liability Would Be Titanic in Scale’

Elon Musk has warned the Twitter Board of Directors that, should they choose to turn down his offer to buy the company, “the liability they would thereby assume would be titanic in scale.”

Musk took to Twitter to discuss the crazy day that saw him make an offer to buy Twitter for over $40 billion cash and give an interview at a TED Conference where he doubled down saying it was vital to the future of civilization to have a trusted platform that offers free speech.

A report from the Wall Street Journal saying the board was discussing using a poison pill to block Musk caused Cameron Winklevoss to say: “Twitter is considering a poison pill to thwart @elonmusk’s offer.

“They would rather self-immolate than give up their censorship programs.

“This shows you how deeply committed they are to Orwellian control of the narratives and global discourse. Scary.”

Musk responded: “If the current Twitter board takes actions contrary to shareholder interests, they would be breaching their fiduciary duty.

“The liability they would thereby assume would be titanic in scale.

“It would be utterly indefensible not to put this offer to a shareholder vote. They own the company, not the board of directors.

“Will endeavor to keep as many shareholders in privatized Twitter as allowed by law

He said at the TED Conference: “This is not about money. My strong intuitive sense is having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is important to the future of civilization. The civilizational risk is decreased the more we can increase the trust of Twitter as a public platform.

“Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square, so it’s really important that people have both the reality and perception that they are able to speak freely, in the bounds of the law.

“Having a black box algorithm that promotes some things and demotes others is really dangerous,”  he said of his plans to make it public if he gets control.

“A good sign as to whether there is free speech is when someone you don’t like, is allowed to say something you don’t like. If that is the case, then you have free speech,” he said.

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“Twitter should match the laws of the country, and in my view there’s an obligation to do that. Going beyond that.. tweets mysteriously promoted and demoted.. this can be quite dangerous,” he said.

“I don’t care about the economics at all,” he said. “I have sufficient assets,” Musk added. “I can do it if possible.”

Asked by TED’s Chris Anderson if there was a “Plan B” if his offer is rejected Musk said, “There is.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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