Elon Musk became the owner and CEO of Twitter on October 27, 2022, after acquiring the social media company for $44 billion.
What follows is a timeline of events leading up to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the changes implemented under his leadership.
March 25, 2022
Musk begins openly criticizing Twitter, polling his followers on whether they believe the company adheres to the principle of free speech.
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
April 4, 2022
A securities filing reveals Musk is Twitter’s largest shareholder, with a 9% stake in the company.
Musk is invited to join Twitter’s board of directors.
Oh hi lol
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 4, 2022
April 10, 2022
Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announces Musk declines the invitation to join Twitter’s board of directors.
Elon has decided not to join our board. I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here. pic.twitter.com/lfrXACavvk
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 11, 2022
April 14, 2022
Musk makes an offer to purchase Twitter for $43 billion, or $54.20 per share, and take the company private.
I made an offer https://t.co/VvreuPMeLu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
Taking Twitter private at $54.20 should be up to shareholders, not the board
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
April 25, 2022
A filing with the United States Security and Exchange Commission reveals Twitter’s board publicly and unanimously accepted Musk’s buyout offer.
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
May 13, 2022
Musk puts the buyout deal on hold following reports that 5% of Twitter’s daily active users are spam accounts.
To find out, my team will do a random sample of 100 followers of @twitter.
I invite others to repeat the same process and see what they discover …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2022
June 6, 2022
In a letter from Musk’s attorney sent to Twitter, Musk threatens to terminate his agreement. Musk alleges Twitter is refusing to comply with requests for data on the number of spam accounts.
June 8, 2022
Twitter’s board complies with Musk’s demands, agreeing to provide him with a “firehose” data stream of tweets.
This was first reported by The Washington Post.
July 8, 2022
Musk announces his intention to terminate the Twitter acquisition, claiming in a filing with the SEC that Twitter still refuses to comply with requests for data on bot accounts.
Twitter’s chairman, Bret Taylor, says that the board plans to pursue legal action to enforce the agreement.
The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
— Bret Taylor (@btaylor) July 8, 2022
July 12, 2022
Twitter formally launches a lawsuit against Musk in response to his backing out of the acquisition.
Oh the irony lol
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 12, 2022
August 6, 2022
Musk challenges former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate about spam accounts and polls followers on whether they believe less than 5% of Twitter’s daily active users are fake.
I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage.
Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 6, 2022
Less than 5% of Twitter daily users are fake/spam
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 6, 2022
October 4, 2022
Musk submits a proposal to move forward with the acquisition at the originally agreed-upon price of $44 billion ($54.20 per share) on the condition that Twitter drops its lawsuit.
In a tweet, Musk said acquiring Twitter is part of a larger goal to create an “everything” app called “X”:
Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2022
October 20, 2022
According to a report in The Washington Post, Musk is telling investors he plans to terminate nearly 75% of Twitter’s staff.
October 26, 2022
Musk tweets a video of him carrying a kitchen sink into Twitter headquarters and changes his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit,” signaling the buyout is near completion.
Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
Musk reportedly tells Twitter employees during his visit that layoffs will happen, though not at the previously reported scale.
October 27, 2022
Musk and Twitter close the deal, making Musk the new owner. Musk immediately fires Agrawal, chief financial officer (CFO) Ned Segal, Gadde, and general counsel Sean Edgett.
the bird is freed
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
October 30, 2022
Musk reveals plans to revamp Twitter’s verification system, tweeting:
The whole verification process is being revamped right now
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
A report begins to surface that Musk is considering charging users to pay to remain verified.
A separate report says Musk plans to offer verification checkmarks through Twitter Blue and increase the price to $19.99 per month.
November 1, 2022
In an exchange on Twitter with Stephen King, Musk confirms plans to charge for verification, though at a reduced price of $8 per month.
We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
In a follow-up tweet, Musk adds:
“I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots & trolls.”
Musk reportedly orders Twitter staff to work 12-hour shifts to accomplish his goal of launching the new verification system within a week.
November 4, 2022
Musk lays off half of Twitter employees as part of an alleged cost-cutting measure.
On Twitter, Musk says the layoffs are due to a massive drop in company revenue:
Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.
Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
Regarding the layoffs, Musk claims he has no choice:
Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.
Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
November 9, 2022
Twitter launches a new verification system, with all users receiving a blue checkmark by purchasing Twitter Blue.
November 10, 2022
In Musk’s first address to Twitter staff since taking ownership of the company, he warns about a dire finical situation.
Musk reportedly believes Twitter doesn’t have the cash flow to survive, mentioning that bankruptcy is possible.
November 11, 2022
Musk pauses Twitter Blue subscriptions due to accounts abusing the verification checkmark by impersonating brands and public figures.
To be more precise, accounts doing parody impersonations. Basically, tricking people is not ok.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 11, 2022
Additionally, more top executives resign from their position at Twitter.
November 12, 2022
Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter fires an estimated 80% of contract employees without formal notice.
November 14, 2022
Musk announces Twitter is turning off microservices “bloatware,” which he claims isn’t necessary for the site to work:
Part of today will be turning off the “microservices” bloatware. Less than 20% are actually needed for Twitter to work!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 14, 2022
Experts warn of a potential Twitter outage due to turning off microservices and advise backing up personal data.
November 15, 2022
Musk fires employees for expressing negative opinions about him in a private Slack channel.
Yao Yue, the former Principal Software Engineer at Twitter, tweets:
After 12 amazing years and 3 weeks of chaos, I’m officially fired by Twitter.
Never expected I would have stayed this long, and never expected I would be this relieved to be gone.
I have a lot of stories to tell. But to my fellow (ex-)tweeps-#LoveWhereYouWorked pic.twitter.com/lVWbqpcSXO
— Yao Yue 岳峣 (@thinkingfish) November 15, 2022
The legal battle between Twitter and Musk ends as the judge dismisses the lawsuit.
Musk announces a new “Blue Verified” program will launch on November 29:
Punting relaunch of Blue Verified to November 29th to make sure that it is rock solid
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2022
November 16, 2022
Musk issues an ultimatum to Twitter staff, asking them to commit to “hardcore” working conditions or get let go with three months severence pay.
November 17, 2022
A majority of Twitter employees reportedly reject Musk’s ultimatum, opting to leave the company. Musk seemingly expresses his thoughts about the exodus in this tweet:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
November 18, 2022
The deadline for Twitter employees to accept Musk’s ultimatum passes; many decide to leave.
Twitter publishes a policy change, stating accounts less than 90 days old can’t sign up for Twitter Blue.
Musk publishes a poll asking whether he should reinstate the account of former United States President Donald Trump.
Reinstate former President Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
November 19, 2022
Musk reinstates Trump’s Twitter account.
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
November 21, 2022
Musk holds off the relaunch of Blue Verified until the company figures out a way to stop impersonations:
Holding off relaunch of Blue Verified until there is high confidence of stopping impersonation.
Will probably use different color check for organizations than individuals.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2022
November 22, 2022
Musk brings on prolific hacker George Hotz as an intern tasked with fixing Twitter’s search engine.
November 23, 2022
Musk proposes offering a general amnesty to suspended Twitter accounts.
Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2022
November 24, 2022
Musk announces general amnesty for suspended Twitter accounts begins next week.
November 25, 2022
Musk makes headlines saying he will invent an alternative phone if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores.
I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022
Twitter’s new verification system is slated to launch next week.
November 27, 2022
Musk shares slides from a company talk where he presents his vision for “Twitter 2.0.”
November 28, 2022
Musk claims Apple is threatening to remove Twitter from the iOS App Store.
Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
Additionally, Musk adds that Apple is significantly reducing its ad spend on Twitter.
November 29, 2022
Twitter updates its website to note it’s no longer enforcing its COVID-19 misinformation policy.
November 30, 2022
Musk visits Apple HQ and resolves a misunderstanding with CEO Tim Cook. Apple had no intention to remove Twitter from the App Store.
December 1, 2022
Musk says Twitter will start showing view counts for all Tweets.
December 2, 2022
Musk promotes the release of the “Twitter Files.”
December 8, 2022
Musk promotes the release of part two of the “Twitter Files.”
Musk says Twitter is working on a feature that will alert users if they’re shadowbanned.
December 9, 2022
Musk announces plans to free up inactive accounts, making their usernames available for others to register.
December 12, 2022
Twitter relaunches Blue Verified.
December 14, 2022
Musk suspends the Twitter account tracking his private jet.
Musk introduces a new policy prohibiting posting someone’s real-time location details.
Twitter shuts down newsletter platform Revue.
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