Current and former Twitter employees in Ireland fear an “exodus” from the company’s European headquarters in Dublin with its takeover by Elon Musk.
usk on Monday inked a deal to buy Twitter Inc for $44 billion, a transaction that will give control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the richest person in the world world shifted.
Even as the terms of the contract were being finalized between the sides, several employees went to work to express concern over Mr Musk’s stated desire to relax rules on content moderation.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the start of an exodus,” a senior said.
“The idea that we need less content moderation is crazy,” said another.
A spokesman for Twitter in Ireland declined to comment on the matter.
Mr Musk has received political support for his takeover attempt in the US.
“Hey @elonmusk it’s a great week liberating @realDonaldTrump,” tweeted the House Republican Conference, which currently represents 209 Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Twitter suspended Mr Trump’s account over the risk of further violence after the US Capitol was stormed on January 6 last year.
Mr Musk said he believes moderation rules on social media platforms have become too strict and pose a threat to freedom of expression around the world.
However, a Musk-owned Twitter would face a challenge from the newly passed EU Digital Services Law, which further tightens rules on content moderation and imposes penalties of up to 6 percent of global social media platform revenue will ignore the stricter rules.
Most of Twitter’s European policies are negotiated and decided from its Dublin 2 offices.
Politicians, including senior executives Sinéad McSweeney and Ronan Costello, could find themselves caught between a libertarian Musk and the European Commission’s goals for a safer internet.
On Monday night, Twitter agreed to sell Elon Musk for around $43 billion in cash at $54.20 per share, which the Tesla CEO described as his “best and final” offer for the social media company had designated.
He buys the company as a private person, Tesla is not involved. The move would almost certainly mean Mr Musk having to sell some of his Tesla stock.
It is seen as a bold move by market analysts as Twitter has been a financial disappointment compared to other social media platforms.
It’s only recently turned a profit and has a small fraction of the commercial value of giants like Meta, Google or TikTok.
The Twitter board’s apparent change in stance on Mr Musk’s offer could also indicate a lack of confidence in the leadership of recently appointed CEO Parag Agrawal to significantly increase Twitter’s revenue and profitability.
Just last week, the board adopted a “poison pill” strategy to halt Mr Musk’s bid.
However, it now looks like Mr Musk’s side project of acquiring Twitter may materialize. If so, the Dublin office faces a rocky ride.
Additional coverage from Reuters
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/twitter-staff-here-may-quit-as-elon-musk-succeeds-in-his-takeover-bid-41586640.html The Twitter staff here may be quitting as Elon Musk’s takeover bid succeeds