Elon Musk has successfully closed a $44 billion deal to acquire the social media platform Twitter. Musk tweeted “the bird is freed” in response to the reports, making reference to the bird-shaped logo of the social media platform.

The acquisition of the Tesla CEO brings to an end a six-month ordeal that saw Twitter initially reject Musk’s offer to buy them and then sue the billionaire after he signaled he would back out of the deal due to worries about spam accounts and allegations of lax cybersecurity practices. 

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Musk’s interest in the platform has become a flashpoint in the debate over free expression in the digital age. Many conservatives have hailed Musk’s takeover as a corrective to Big Tech’s censorship of politically incorrect views. Critics, on the other hand, have expressed concern that Musk’s reign could mean open season for hate speech and misinformation.

Will Musk re-store Donald Trump’s Twitter account

Musk, who calls himself a “absolutist of free speech,” has criticized Twitter’s moderation procedures and objected to censorship that goes beyond what is required by law. For example, Musk declared in May that he would restore former US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, which had been suspended for allegedly inciting violence in the wake of the riots at the US Capitol on January 6.

Earlier this year, in May, Musk told Financial times, “I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice. Banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice. It will amplify it among the right, and that is why it’s morally wrong and flat-out stupid.”

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Despite the lack of concrete evidence of systematic anti-conservative bias and the continued popularity of conservative influencers on social media sites like Twitter, Musk’s remarks about bringing back Trump and his commitment to free speech have made him popular with conservatives who have long felt silenced by Twitter and other social media companies.

While many conservatives would applaud Trump’s return to Twitter, many liberals would fiercely oppose it, claiming that his tweets pose a threat to a peaceful democracy. If Elon does decide to restore the former president, it will be interesting to see how he responds to the backlash.