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Why Elon Musk Might Still Walk Away From the Twitter Deal

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Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is inspiring elation in some users and panic in others, but there’s still time for the whole deal to fall apart. On the latest Pivot podcast, Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway discuss why that remains a live possibility.

Kara Swisher: The man behind Twitter’s big purchase might regret pushing that button. European regulars have warned the new owner that Twitter will have to comply with the E.U.’s moderation rules, which are very severe. They’re not the only ones trying to tie his hands. He’s also banned from tweeting disparaging marks about Twitter and its employees, according to a clause in the buyout agreement. That didn’t stop him from mocking Twitter’s chief legal officer, Vijaya Gadde, on Wednesday. He’s also engaged with tweets from prominent right-wingers, attacked another employee, and all kinds of stuff. He’s been doing a lot of virtue signaling to the right, which is interesting. He posts funny things, but a lot of it is really quite odious.

Scott, the most unlikely part of this whole week is that you had a civil exchange with him on Twitter. He wrote, “Truth Social, terrible name, exists because Twitter censored free speech.” Scott agreed. Elon wrote back, “Should be called Trumpet instead.” I wanted to call it Mindspace. But anyway, what’s going on here? You said on Monday that this isn’t a done deal. So did Bill Cohan when I talked to him this week.

Twice weekly, Scott Galloway and Kara Swisher host Pivot, a New York Magazine podcast about business, technology, and politics.

Scott Galloway: Well, just so I can really stick my neck out there and be wrong over and over again — I don’t think this deal closes, Kara. I think this is what happens. I mean, the mocking of the chief — you have a guy who’s bought your company, and your new boss, the owner of the company, is a threat to you. He might start tweeting angry things about you or disparaging things. And have you seen her feed?

Swisher: Let’s just be clear because what he said is he didn’t like the decision around the Hunter Biden laptop. What happened was he unleashed an army of trolls.

Galloway: Yeah, but he should know that.

Swisher: It’s a criticism many have. Look, they made a mistake there. They absolutely did. But Elon is pretending he doesn’t have an impact. And then his troll army, the troll part of his army — not all of it, by the way, I’m going to be very clear — went to town on this woman.

Galloway: I really think you suffer from both sides–ism here.

Swisher: Scott, I’m the first person who said “this is appalling.”

Galloway: At this point, he should recognize that when he says something critical of a woman who has a big public profile, she is going to get massively harassed by his army of Tesla Taliban. And it all comes back to something you said that really struck me: When you’ve never been threatened, you have difficulty understanding the threats presented by your activity in your company. And the reality is I can go out and say fairly provocative things and no one threatens to rape me.

Swisher: Yes.

Galloway: And I don’t feel, quite frankly, I just don’t feel physically threatened. I feel........

© Daily Intelligencer

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