Elon Musk completes $44 billion buyout of Twitter and fires top executives.

“The bird is free,” Musk tweeted Friday. The world’s richest person now officially owns Twitter.

Elon Musk finalized his controversial $44 billion buyout of the social media giant early Friday, announcing the development with a four-word tweet to his 111 million followers. “The bird is released“, wrote the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, confirming the end of a months-long saga that culminated in a legal battle and extensive media coverage.

According to multiple press reports, Elon Musk has fired several senior executives since the deal was signed, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, General Counsel Sean Edgett, and Head of Legal Policy, Trust and Security Vijaya Gadde. Agrawal and Segal were reportedly escorted out of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal was struck. The reported layoffs come after it emerged that Elon Musk was going to cut 75 percent of the company’s workforce, though Musk later denied those claims.

Earlier this week, Elon Musk was seen at Twitter headquarters and changed his bio to “Chief Twit“. He would now assume the role of CEO, although neither he nor Twitter have confirmed these leadership changes.

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While Musk stated in a statement Thursday that he bought Twitter “to help humanity“, questions arise about how he plans to change one of the world’s most powerful communication platforms. Musk said he hopes Twitter will serve the needs of people on both sides of the political spectrum and curb extremism on the left and right, saying the platform represents the world’s best example of a “common digital public square“. Musk has warned that social media apps like Twitter could create more division and hate, but some have disputed his view, fearing that his relaxed approach to censorship could lead to an increase in hate speech.

Crypto Twitter

Ironically, given that the platform is now controlled by a centralized owner, Twitter has long been the social networking application of choice for the crypto-currency community. Such is Twitter’s key role in the crypto-currency space that enthusiasts have coined the term “Crypto Twitter” to refer to the hive of crypto-currency-related conversations that spill out in thousands of tweets every day. Nearly every major crypto figure and brand is active on Twitter, which is widely considered the best place to keep up with the latest happenings in this fast-moving industry.

To help Elon Musk with his buyout, Binance contributed $500 million, the exchange’s CEO Changpeng Zhao said confirmed early Friday. While it’s unclear how the crypto will influence Musk’s Twitter plans, he has previously hinted that Dogecoin could be used for Twitter-based payments. Elon Musk has also said he hopes to solve the problem of bots on Twitter, a problem that has negatively impacted Crypto Twitter as the space has boomed in recent years.

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In the background, Twitter has increasingly embraced crypto over the past two years. It confirmed the launch of a new feature called NFT Tweet Tiles on Thursday, allowing users to link their NFTs to marketplaces like Magic Eden and Rarible. The update follows several other major crypto developments from the social media giant, including the rollout of the NFT profile picture and the integration of Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets.

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