Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter reportedly did not happen just because the Tesla and SpaceX CEO was interested in the social media company. It reportedly happened partly because a “shadow crew” — several of which have their own grievances against Twitter — egged on Musk to acquire Twitter.
Elon Musk is yet to finalize his Twitter acquisition, though he offloaded over $8 billion worth of Tesla shares last week, likely to help him fund his buyout of the social media company. Reports have also suggested that Musk intends to make Twitter into a far more cost-efficient company. This meant that drastic reductions in the Board’s salaries and potentially layoffs are on the table.
That being said, Musk reportedly had several voices in his ear in the lead-up to his Twitter acquisition. The Wall Street Journal, who dubbed this group as Musk’s “shadow crew,” named former CEO and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey as one of the people who influenced the Tesla CEO. The publication noted that Dorsey was particularly supportive of the idea that Twitter should be a private company.
The WSJ also alleged that a group of “group of libertarian-leaning activists and businessmen” encouraged the Tesla CEO to push for his Twitter bid. This reportedly included some members of the “PayPal Mafia” like investor Peter Thiel and entrepreneur David Sacks, as well as early Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson and Musk’s own brother, Kimbal.
With Musk’s stance on the importance of free speech, several individuals including far-right personalities who have been banned by Twitter have hinted at their excitement over the possibility of being allowed back into the social media site. Elon Musk, for his part, has maintained the idea that Twitter should be a town square of sorts for free speech, with people speaking their minds provided that their posts adhere to the law.
Musk seemed to have found humor in the WSJ‘s allegations that he had a “shadow crew” behind his acquisition of Twitter. In a recent post, Musk stated that his “shadow crew” is sick, but he does not really know who they are. He also asked if it was a good idea to sell “shadow crew” merch to help fund the acquisition of the social media platform.