Elon Musk claims he's buying Twitter to 'help humanity'

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Elon MuskImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Elon Musk at the Met Gala in New York earlier this year

Elon Musk claims that he is buying Twitter to "help humanity" as the billionaire set out his aims for taking over the social media platform.

In a tweet, Mr Musk said he didn't buy the firm "to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love".

The entrepreneur has until Friday to complete a $44bn (£38bn) takeover of Twitter or risk going to trial.

The tweet addressed to Twitter's advertisers states that he has "acquired" the firm.

However, there has been no official confirmation that the deal has been completed.

Earlier this week, Mr Musk published a video of himself walking into Twitter's headquarters carrying a sink, raising speculation about his aims for the firm.

"Entering Twitter HQ - let that sink in!" Mr Musk wrote.

In business parlance, "kitchen sinking" means taking radical action at a company, though it is not clear if this was Mr Musk's message - he also updated his Twitter bio to read "chief twit".

In his latest tweet, Mr Musk set out some of his goals for the company, saying that Twitter must be "warm and welcoming for all".

He wrote that he wanted "civilization to have a common digital town square" but he denies the platform will take an anything-goes approach.

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End of twitter post by Elon Musk

"Twitter cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences!" He also said the platform must adhere to the laws of the land.

Mr Musk has said the social media site needs significant changes.

It was not clear whether Mr Musk met Twitter executives Wednesday when he made his trip with the sink but he listed his location as the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on the social media platform.

When Mr Musk first revealed plans to buy Twitter, he said he wanted to clean up spam accounts on the platform and preserve it as a venue for free speech.

But Mr Musk, the world's richest man and a prolific Twitter user known for his impulsive style, baulked at the purchase just a few weeks later, citing concerns that the number of fake accounts on the platform was higher than Twitter claimed.

Twitter executives denied the accusations, arguing that Mr Musk wanted out because he was worried about the price.

Image source, Elon Musk
Image caption,
Elon Musk arrives at Twitter's headquarters with a kitchen sink

The company eventually filed a lawsuit to hold him to the deal, and Mr Musk revived his takeover plans on the condition that legal proceedings were paused.

The deal must be completed by 28 October, or he will face trial over the contract.

"I'm excited about the Twitter situation," Mr Musk recently said during a call to discuss Tesla's financial results. Mr Musk is electric car maker's chief executive.

"I think it's an asset that has just sort of languished for a long time but has incredible potential, although obviously myself and the other investors are overpaying for Twitter right now," he added.

A deal that is now surely done

Given the history of this deal, you can see why people are hesitant about announcing it prematurely.

This is Elon Musk we're talking about, an erratic and capricious character.

However, everything we have seen today here in San Francisco would suggest that he will own Twitter in the coming days.

It is hard to believe he would be meeting staff if the deal wasn't as good as done.

He laughed and smiled as he entered Twitter, but he has a lot of work to do to warm up the social media platform's employees.

Reports he would dramatically reduce headcount have not gone down well with staff.

Talk of allowing Donald Trump and other banned accounts back onto the platform has also frustrated many employees.

It has been widely reported he is due to speak to Twitter workers on Friday, about what lies in store.

Perhaps then we'll finally get more information about "X", the app for everything that Mr Musk wants Twitter to become.