The 6 most burning questions that Twitter employees, investors, and users have for Elon Musk
- Since Elon Musk said he was buying Twitter, there seem to be more questions than answers.
- Little is known for sure about what he plans to do with the social media giant.
Developments around Elon Musk's $44 billion takeover of Twitter continue to unfurl —and the more that happens, the less we seem to know.
That's especially true for Twitter employees, who anxiously speculated what a takeover of the company could mean for them after an all-hands meeting this week did little to assuage their concerns, Insider's Kali Hays reported.
They aren't the only ones with questions. On Twitter itself, users wondered what might happen to automated "bot" accounts, if previously banned accounts will be reinstated, and more. Here are just a few of the most burning issues yet to be clarified:
Will Musk move Twitter's HQ?
Musk famously moved Tesla to Texas in 2021. And even before news of his Twitter takeover was official, some people were already speculating what it would be like if he also moved Twitter from San Francisco to Austin.
He's clearly a fan of Texas and its politics, which can often be in stark contrast to California's. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who's been vocal about defending freedom of speech online against "wrongful social media censorship," encouraged Musk to make the move.
—Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 25, 2022
Will there be layoffs?
According to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, there are no staff layoffs planned "at this time," The Verge reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.
But he conceded that there is much uncertainty around what Musk's takeover will change within the company.
What will happen to Twitter's moderation teams?
We don't have concrete details about what changes, if any, Musk will make internally at Twitter to resources devoted to moderating content.
But we do know the self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist" isn't a fan of moderation — which he's called censorship.
Content moderation — the process of policing posts and protecting users from disinformation and harassment — has been tugged into America's nasty culture war, with a majority of conservatives feeling they've been targeted by platform rules.
Experts previously told Insider that Musk's obsession with free speech could lead to him rolling back moderation policies, which would amplify hate speech and disinformation.
Will they miss out on potential stock gains?
Most Twitter employees are given equity in the company as a part of their compensation package. Some employees were concerned about the price of Musk's offer, given shares were trading above $54.20 just last year
To be sure, others were excited by the prospect of cash for their shares one employee told Insider's Kali Hays, given recent weakness.
But Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor and Agrawal told employees this week that they will still hold their stock grants — that compensation will just vest in the form of cash instead of additional stock.
Will the flexibility of return-to-work be squashed?
Twitter's remote work policies will stay in effect until the deal closes later this year, Agrawal told employees Monday.
But in an internal Slack channel at Twitter, one employee said that "many people are concerned about Musk's business practices and ethics changing the culture at Twitter," Insider previously reported.
Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey is known for his focus on a flexible work-life balance. His company was one of the first to tell its employees they can work from home permanently, even after pandemic-era lockdowns were lifted.
Twitter has also given employees paid days of rest since 2020 and encouraged workers to designate meeting-free or limited days.
Musk operates very differently. He's described himself as a "nanomanager" and employees have said he can have a short temper that results in "rage-firing" staff and exploding at executives. He pushed back on that, saying he "gives clear and frank feedback which may be construed as derision."
Who will keep Elon in check?
If the deal closes, Musk will own Twitter outright and the company will no longer be publicly traded.
That means leadership won't have to answer to a board of directors, who advocate for shareholders — Taylor said in an all-hands this week that there will indeed not be a board if the deal closes.
Neither Agrawal nor even Dorsey ever owned such a vast majority of shares. Like most public companies, they always had to work alongside aboard.
Musk is notorious for his brash, oftentimes offensive tweets, some of which have led to lawsuits against him, as well as legal battles with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Now, he will have near-complete control over one of the world's most influential platforms.
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