TECH: Elon Musk buys nealy 10 % stake in twitter.

The Tes­la founder bought 73,486,938 Twit­ter shares on 14 March, accord­ing to the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Commission.

The stake is worth $2.89bn, based on Twit­ter’s clos­ing price on Friday.

The stake makes him one of the largest share­hold­ers in the com­pa­ny and is more than four times the 2.25% hold­ing of Twit­ter founder Jack Dorsey.

Musk is a reg­u­lar Twit­ter user with more than 80 mil­lion fol­low­ers, although recent­ly he said he is giv­ing “seri­ous thought” to build­ing a new social media platform.

Late last month Musk asked his fol­low­ers whether they thought the social media plat­form encour­aged free speech.

“Free speech is essen­tial to a func­tion­ing democ­ra­cy. Do you believe Twit­ter rig­or­ous­ly adheres to this principle?”

He then asked: “Is a new plat­form needed?”

Giv­en that Twit­ter serves as the de fac­to pub­lic town square, fail­ing to adhere to free speech prin­ci­ples fun­da­men­tal­ly under­mines democracy.

He reg­u­lar­ly uses Twit­ter to share updates from the com­pa­nies he owns — includ­ing SpaceX and Neu­ralink. He is also known for shar­ing memes, adding to his pop­u­lar­i­ty among fans.

But some posts have drawn controversy.

Last year he tweet­ed in response to a claim, made by the head of the UN World Food Pro­gramme (WFP), that just 2% of Mr Musk’s wealth could help to solve world hunger.

In Octo­ber, Mr Musk said he would sell $6bn in Tes­la stock and donate it to the WFP, pro­vid­ed it could describe “exact­ly how $6bn will solve world hunger”.

Mr Musk saw the val­u­a­tion of his Tes­la car com­pa­ny sur­pass a mar­ket val­ue of $1 tril­lion last autumn, mak­ing it the fifth such firm to reach the mile­stone, after Apple, Microsoft, Ama­zon and Google-own­er Alphabet.

Soon after he took to Twit­ter to ask users if he should sell a 10% stake in the elec­tric carmaker.

More than 3.5 mil­lion Twit­ter users vot­ed, with near­ly 58% vot­ing in favour of the share sale lead­ing to Musk sell­ing around $5bn of shares in the firm in November.

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