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Progressive activists, media pundits react to Elon Musk's Twitter takeover: 'No good will come of this'

Reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk now owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter garnered a wide range of responses on the social media platform, with free speech advocates celebrating the Tesla owner’s new role. 

“Maybe he can find out who at Twitter censored the Hunter Biden story?” Dave Rubin, host of “The Rubin Report” said. Musk became Twitter’s biggest shareholder on Monday and will sit on the board of directors.  

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said Tuesday that Musk “would bring great value” to the board. 

ELON MUSK PURCHASES STAKE IN TWITTER AFTER SLAMMING ITS APPROACH TO ‘FREE SPEECH’

Elon Musk walks from the the justice center in Wilmington, Del., Monday, July 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Elon Musk walks from the the justice center in Wilmington, Del., Monday, July 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

“Elon Musk is totally unfit to run Twitter! He might not spend every waking hour thinking of new ways to control, monitor, and ban speech,” journalist Michael Tracey joked. 

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said Musk “opposes big tech censorship” and that “all freedom-loving Americans can get behind” the news. 

Fox News contributor Clay Travis said it was “absolutely glorious” that the verified “bluechecks” who once pushed the “Twitter is a private company, if you don’t like it, leave!” philosophy were the same ones who are “suddenly shaken to their core” that Musk was now the largest shareholder.  

CNN’S BRIAN STELTER SAYS THERE’S A ‘FEAR’ ABOUT ELON MUSK BECOMING TWITTER’S BIGGEST SHAREHOLDER

Others thought the news would pose a problem for the social media platform. 

“No good will come of this. Hoping entrepreneurs are dreaming up new alternatives to Twitter and Facebook,” activist, author and president of The New Agenda Amy Siskind said.

FILE - This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app on a mobile phone in Philadelphia.  Twitter will now prohibit hate speech that targets religious groups using dehumanizing language. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

FILE – This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app on a mobile phone in Philadelphia.  Twitter will now prohibit hate speech that targets religious groups using dehumanizing language. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Bloomberg opinion columnist and MSNBC political analyst Tim O’Brien said free speech advocates should be worried. “Musk fashions himself a free speech purist, but bullies critics,” he said. 

“The newest member of Twitter’s board of directors once went on Twitter and called a U.S. Senator ‘Senator Karen’ because she suggested he—the richest man in the world—should pay income taxes,”  Sawyer Hackett, podcast host and advisor to Julián Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration, said. “He paid $0 in income taxes last year.” 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the new Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, California on March 14, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the new Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, California on March 14, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

MSNBC’s Joy Reid asked her followers how many of them would “remain” on Twitter if they bring “Trump, his white nationalist friends, Q-anon and the anti-vaxxers back.” 

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Twitter’s shares jumped 25% following Musk’s news on Monday, with individual shares priced at $49.81 on Monday. Musk criticized Twitter on March 26, and said he was giving the idea of creating a new platform “serious thought.”

“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” he said, asking his followers if a new platform was necessary.  

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