Elon Musk surprised everyone on Friday by saying that his much-hyped deal to buy Twitter was “temporarily on hold”. Last month, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO had made an offer to buy the microblogging site for $44 billion.
In a tweet, Mr Musk wrote, “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
Mr Musk’s announcement has surprised many people and sparked a lot of speculation. Soon after his announcement, a debate raged on the microblogging site whether the tech billionaire was ever serious about acquiring Twitter.
Mr Musk had championed the deal as his way of protecting free speech, accusing the social network of heightened censorship measures. He had said that a key priority for him, after taking over Twitter, would be to remove “spam bots” from the platform that often drown the public discourse and throw it off track.
Many people saw Mr Musk’s latest announcement as an attempt to walk away from the deal, after promising to improve the social media platform.
“Pretty sure Elon Musk is headed for the off ramp of his purchase of Twitter. Call me crazy, but I don’t think he’s going to end up buying it,” said one user.
Pretty sure Elon Musk is headed for the off ramp of his purchase of Twitter.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think he’s going to end up buying it.
— The Lincoln Watchman???????????? (@LincolnWatchman) May 13, 2022
“He’s not in charge and won’t ever be, he got bored and is now letting the deal collapse. Anyone who takes Elon musk seriously is a retard,” said another.
hes not in charge and wont ever be, he got bored and is now letting the deal collapse. anyone who takes elon musk seriously is a retard
— Lord Milo Esq. (@atenhakada) May 13, 2022
One user went so far as to accuse the Tesla CEO of swindling people’s hopes. “It was a grift all along. Get it?” wrote the user.
It was a grift all along. Get it?
— Melania’s hand (@MelaniasHand) May 13, 2022
One user pushed him to explain how he will now ensure “freedom of speech” on Twitter.
What about the Freedom of speech there? .@elonmusk
— Badr (@badr_kilani) May 13, 2022
Some users, however, appeared sanguine that the deal will ultimately go through. “Doesn’t mean it’s not happening, it’s just delayed,” said one user.
Doesn’t mean it’s not happening, it’s just delayed.
— Kiwiallblacks (@Kiwiallblacks1) May 13, 2022
Another said he would keep supporting Mr Musk “cause I believe in an exciting future”.
I receive a lot of hate for supporting @elonmusk. It’s really saddening. Behind every avatar there’s an actual real human being. Spreading hate & toxicity is easy. Being optimistic & hopeful requires effort. I’m gonna keep supporting Elon cause I believe in an exciting future.
— Moosaa ???????? (@Moosahmed03) May 13, 2022
Earlier this week, Mr Musk had said that he would reverse Twitter’s ban on former US President Donald Trump after taking over. Mr Trump was permanently banned from Twitter after his supporters violently protested at the US Capitol in early January 2021.