SpaceX and Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has made a major play for Twitter stock, becoming the platform’s largest shareholder on Monday.
Musk, who also founded the Starlink satellite-based Internet service, purchased 9.2 percent of Twitter stock for around $3 billion.
He now has four times as many shares as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who owns 2.25 percent.
“Twitter shares surged about 26% in premarket trading after the regulator filing released Monday detailing Musk buying the holding,” Bloomberg reported. “The stake is worth about $2.89 billion, based on Friday’s market close.”
Musk’s purchase comes after he teased a potential shakeup at the platform or a future plan to build his own.
After suggesting that Twitter “fundamentally undermines democracy” by not defending free speech, Musk conducted an informal poll on the platform, ironically, to ask, “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”
More than 2 million people responded to the poll with 70.4 percent saying that Twitter did not adhere to the principle, The Daily Wire reported.
“The consequences of this poll will be important,” Musk continued. “Please vote carefully.”
Musk followed up on the poll on Saturday, noting: “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?”
He asked: “Is a new platform needed?”
The next day, the entrepreneur said he was giving “serious thought” to building a new platform with “an open source algorithm,” promoting free speech.
“Would you consider building a new social media platform, [Elon Musk]?” one Twitter user asked. “One that would consist an open source algorithm, one where free speech and adhering to free speech is given top priority, one where propaganda is very minimal. I think that kind of a platform is needed.”
“Am giving serious thought to this,” Musk responded.