Elon Musk turns down Twitter board position but is already suggesting changes

As Twitter’s newest and largest shareholder, Elon Musk is already floating suggestions for changes he’d like to see on the social media platform.

But the tech billionaire has turned down a position on the board of Twitter in a last-minute decision.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal confirmed the billionaire’s withdrawal, saying that while Twitter was excited to welcome Mr Musk he had advised “he will no longer be joining the board”.

Elon Musk said Twitter should include an “authentication checkmark” as a feature of its Twitter Blue premium subscription service. (Patrick Pleul)

This hasn’t stopped Mr Musk from continuing to suggest changes he thinks Twitter should make.

In a series of tweets late on Saturday, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said that the company should include an “authentication check-mark” as a feature of its Twitter Blue premium subscription service, which costs $2.99 a month.

Twitter adds a check-mark logo next to a user name when the account has been verified “authentic, notable and active.”

Mr Musk also suggested Twitter make the authentication check-marks of premium subscriber accounts different than those granted to official accounts belonging to public figures, for example.

Such a move, Mr Musk said, would “massively expand” the pool of verified user accounts and discourage the proliferation of spam “bot” accounts, making them too expensive to maintain.

Mr Musk also shared ideas for how Twitter should charge for its subscription membership, saying the fee “should be proportionate to affordability and in local currency,” and adding: “Maybe even an option to pay in Doge?” referring to the Dogecoin cryptocurrency.

“And no ads,” Mr Musk tweeted.

“The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive.”

Nearly 90 per cent of Twitter’s revenue in 2021 came from advertising.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk now has a 9 per cent stake in Twitter and a seat on its corporate board of directors.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk now has a 9 per cent stake in Twitter. (AP)

Mr Musk’s latest tweets about Twitter, including posting polls asking his 81 million followers whether Twitter is “dying” and whether the company’s San Francisco headquarters should be converted into a homeless shelter “since no one shows up anyway,” followed a tweet earlier in the week asking if he should add an edit button on the platform.

Last week, Twitter had disclosed in a regulatory filing that it entered into an agreement with Mr Musk with the term due to expire at its 2024 annual shareholders meeting.

Musk cracks ‘stratospheric’ US$300 billion barrier

The move came a day after it was disclosed that Mr Musk took a 9 per cent stake in the company.


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