Musk Offers to Buy Twitter, Information Quality in Ukraine, Google Invests $9.5B for Offices, Data Centers

Elon Musk proposes to take Twitter private.

Musk Offers to Buy Twitter, Information Quality in Ukraine, Google Invests $9.5B for Offices, Data Centers
Photo of Elon Musk, from Flickr

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2022 — Elon Musk, the CEO of electric car company Tesla, has offered to buy Twitter and take the publicly-traded company private for $43 billion, he announced on Thursday.

Despite not having board approval, Musk said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing the $43-billion offer is “not a threat, it’s simply not a good investment without the changes.” Musk has criticized the company’s free speech policies.

“It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it,” he added. “If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

Musk’s proposal comes a week after news emerged that he purchased a 9.2 percent stake in the company.  That same week, Twitter’s board extended a seat to Musk with the catch that he couldn’t exceed a certain purchasing threshold. He declined the seat.

In a letter sent to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor, Musk wrote, “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.”

The Twitter board of directors will meet Thursday morning to discuss the proposal, it said.

Civil society groups calling for more work to improve information flow to Ukraine

In an open letter released Wednesday, two dozen civil society groups encourage social media platforms to ensure that people in crisis zones, especially in Ukraine, have access to factual information through social media platforms as the Russian invasion continues.

“What we are asking platforms to do is to invest more time and effort in improving their operations now, not when unfolding violence gets into the media spotlight and it is often already too late to act,” pleads the letter.

The letter comes as social media companies struggle to grapple with how to block mis- and dis-information from emerging from the war in Ukraine. For example, platforms including Facebook, Google and Twitter have all significantly reduced Russian-backed ads. Meanwhile, YouTube, Meta’s Facebook and TikTok are blocking Russian media organizations, like RT and Sputnik, from using their platforms within the European Union. Still, social media platforms are still struggling to provide accurate information to users while balancing heavy censorship.

Google invests $9.5 billion dollars in Google offices and data centers

On Wednesday, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced a $9.5-billion-dollar investment to expand Google offices and data centers across the country.

The company wrote that this new expansion would be the equivalent of “at least” 12,000 new jobs in America’s marketplace.

“Google’s offices and data centers provide vital anchors to our local communities and help us contribute to their economies. In the U.S., over the past five years, we’ve invested more than $37 billion in our offices and data centers in 26 states, creating over 40,000 full-time jobs. That’s in addition to the more than $40 billion in research and development we invested in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021. Today we’re announcing plans to invest approximately $9.5 billion in our U.S. offices and data centers in 2022,” wrote Pichai.

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