Has Elon Musk stumbled into some scandalous truths about Twitter?

Sure enough, Elon Musk pulled the trigger, handed Twitter a fat offer of a buyout, and it's been nothing but bonkersville ever since.

According to CBS News:

Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter for $43 billion, saying the social media company "needs to be transformed as a private company."

The billionaire and founder of electric car maker Tesla, who earlier this month disclosed he owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter, proposed in a regulatory filing on Thursday to buy all of the company's outstanding common stock for $54.20 per share. 

"I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy," he said in the filing. "However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form."

The market acted as one might expect of a company that has seen stagnant growth over recent months:

Twitter shares rose 3.6% to $47.49 in early trading. Shares in the social media platform, which was valued at $37 billion prior to Musk's offer, had declined by roughly a third over the prior year.

It prompted huffing and puffing from the likes of the Washington Post, owned by mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos, about Musk being a threat to democracy or something.

The blue checks, meanwhile, completely beclowned themselves:

David Leavitt, the third blue check on that list, recall, is the one who tried to shake down a Target employee for an $89.99 toothbrush for a penny, called the police, and then used Twitter to doxx her when he didn't get what he wanted.

Here's the obvious problem on the surface:

Here's the weird stuff:

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns roughly 5% of Twitter, tweeted that the bid significantly undervalues the company and that he will reject it.

Musk shot back in a tweet: "How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly? What are the Kingdom's views on journalistic freedom of speech?"

Saudi Arabia's richest man has a stake in Twitter?  Bin Talal, recall, is the one that then-mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani declined to take the check from in the rubble of 9/11, citing his insulting linkage of 9/11 to Palestinian grievances.

Why would he oppose more money on a stagnant asset?  And why would there be so much pushback from the news cartels, which would probably benefit from more free speech and passing their articles around by users?

Nickarama at RedState notes the irony of it all:

If the left has such a problem with Elon, where was their objection to the Saudi prince's buying up such a percentage of Twitter shares? Where's their concern about his influence? Aren't they always yelling about Saudi Arabia? So, where's the objection to him? Notice, not so much, because he rows with the elite.

Supposedly, he wants more money.  Perhaps he can sell his shares without Elon, then, and see what he gets.

Musk has threatened to sell his stake if his offer is rejected, which could be quite a fire sale for all of them.  Leaks from the press say Twitter's elites are trying to insert a "poison pill" into the Musk offer to protect their fiefdom.

What Musk seems to have stumbled upon is the argument that Twitter's servers may well be owned by various governments — maybe the Saudis, but almost certainly the U.S. government. 

This analysis by Sundance at Conservative Treehouse, who knows tech, points to the oddities:

What Elon Musk appears to be doing is perhaps the biggest story that few understand.

I share this perspective having spent thousands of hours in the past several years deep in the weeds of tech operating systems, communication platforms, and the issue of simultaneous users.   What Twitter represents, and what Musk is attempting, is not what most would think.

In the big picture of tech platforms, Twitter, as an operating model, is a massive high-user commenting system.

Twitter is not a platform built around a website; Twitter is a platform for comments and discussion that operates in the sphere of social media.  As a consequence, the technology and data processing required to operate the platform does not have an economy of scale.

There is no business model where Twitter is financially viable to operate…. UNLESS the tech architecture under the platform was subsidized.

In my opinion, there is only one technological system and entity that could possibly underwrite the cost of Twitter to operate.  That entity is the United States Government, and here's why.

Sundance cites the monster data usage the system requires, with no economy of scale — each new user adds costs, which Twitter seems impervious to.  As its user base stagnates, it still makes money, because it avoids those costs.  Musk noted the oddity of huge accounts with millions of followers who rarely tweet, asking if the website was "dead," which was a reasonable question, given the previous understanding of Twitter as an entity that makes money based on users to advertise to.  This dynamic involving the federal government certainly would explain the absence of rivals to the company — and perhaps the difficulties that Truth Social has had in scaling its operations.  (I just got onto Truth Social this week after a long stretch on the "waiting list.")

The other potential problem was brought up by Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton:

They've testified again and again and again before Congress that they never censor conservative users — with this kind of tripe:

Twitter isn't swayed by political biases when making critical decisions, according to prepared remarks from CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday, one day before he's set to testify in front of Congress.

"Let me be clear about one important and foundational fact: Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules," Dorsey said.

His remarks were posted by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Tuesday. Dorsey will address the committee, as well as the Senate alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, on Wednesday. He's expected to weigh in on recent claims Twitter that shadow-bans prominent conservative voices and is driven by left-leaning ideals.

"We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially. We do not shadowban anyone based on political ideology," Dorsey continued. "In fact, from a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform."

...and...

He argued it wouldn't make business sense for Twitter to jettison large swaths of Republicans, viewing the platform as a new-age "public square" where almost anything should be allowed to be said. "Impartiality is our guiding principle," Dorsey added.

Nevertheless, there are "mistakes," lots of "mistakes":

When asked why Twitter suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens for mimicking New York Times reporter Sarah Jeong's contentious tweets, including "cancel white people," Dorsey said it was a "mistake."

Plus the odd "total mistake":

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Thursday it was a 'total mistake' for The New York Post to be locked out of its Twitter account for tweets sharing the newspaper's report on Hunter Biden's emails. 

'We made a total mistake with the New York Post, we corrected that within 24 hours,' Dorsey told House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who had asked about that example. 'It was not to do with the content, it had to do with a hacked materials policy, we had an incorrect interpretation,' Dorsey added.  

In this sense, they top the tobacco barons of yesteryear, who declared under oath before Congress around 1994 to some Democrat show hearing that nicotine is not addictive.

Musk may well find out the truth of Twitter's claims to probity, too — which would end the nonsense right there and could, of course, expose Twitter to shareholder lawsuits, as any corporate lie to the public would.

The other thing he may expose is scarier:

Twitter shut down the president of the United States, which, if it's controlled by the government, while the elites take the profits, it means the government itself shut Trump down.  What would be the implications of that, and how the heck could this scandal be corrected?  It would show the extent of the rot of the Deep State that an entity so closely connected to the federal government could carry out that kind of coup.  And that presents a constitutional crisis.  This kind of third-world behavior would have to be exposed by Musk — and Congress would need to stop it.

Image: The Royal Society via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0.

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