Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday struck a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter on Monday. News of the new owner has led to a lot of discussion about who will stay on (or return to) the social media app – now set to become a privately-held company by the end of this year.
Elon Musk, who referred to himself as a “free speech absolutist,” calls for policies that might favour leaving up most tweets and some extremist accounts on the platform, bringing into question what the Tesla CEO’s ownership will mean for previously suspended users.
Former President Donald Trump, who Twitter permanently banned following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, on Monday said that he would not return to the app, even with Musk as the new owner. Instead, he will formally join his own Truth Social app in the coming days.
As of Monday, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Mark Levin have returned to the app.
Musk’s acquisition comes almost five months after founder and CEO Jack Dorsey stepped aside as CEO and named Parag Agrawal as his replacement. Both Dorsey and Agrawal have shared endorsements for Musk’s takeover.
In a tweet, Dorsey on Monday said, “In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter. It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness.”
Here’s a list of who are in and who are out after the Musk takeover.
Who’s returning to Twitter?
a. Tucker Carlson
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson returned to Twitter hours after Elon Musk’s deal was finalised. Carlson was suspended from Twitter in March, after violating the platform’s rules for hateful content.
As Musk’s deal is not yet complete, it is unclear if Carlson’s suspension ended because of the new owner.
b. Mark Levin
Host of syndicated radio shows “The Mark Levin Show” and “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Fox News, Mark Levin also returned to Twitter on Monday – for the first time since January 2021.
Levin was not banned from Twitter, but he suspended his own account “in protest against Twitter’s fascism.”
“Thanks to new ownership, I’ve decided to come back!” Levin tweeted on Monday.
c. Azealia Banks
Twitter suspended Rapper Azealia Banks multiple times. In 2016, Banks was suspended following reported racist and homophobic tweets directed to Zayn Malik. She was also suspended in 2020 for a series of transphobic tweets.
Following Musk’s acquisition, the rapper took to her Instagram Stories on Tuesday, writing, “I actually *have* to thank Elon for buying twitter, I actually got back on…..” She also detailed her experience being banned, calling Dorsey “racist AF” and writing about “his plot to capitalise off the first Black Lives Matter movement.”
d. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Twitter permanently suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account in early January for repeated violations of the social media platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policy.
After Musk’s deal was finalised on Monday, Greene used her Congressional account, which is still active, to share screenshots of the five tweets flagged for misinformation that lead to the banning of her personal account.
Who’s leaving Twitter?
“The Good Place” actress, writer and activist Jameela Jamil wrote her “last tweet” on Monday.
“Ah [Musk] got twitter. I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet,” Jamil tweeted. “I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny. Best of luck.”
Henry Fisker, of Fisker Inc, Tesla’s rival also left Twitter after news broke of Musk’s acquisition. He remains active on platforms like Instagram.
Fisker was accused of stealing confidential information from Tesla after he left the electric vehicle company, following a short stint there. He was slapped with the lawsuit upon deciding to come up with Karma – a hybrid sports car. Fisker won the case on arbitration.