Tip Sheets

Musk’s Twitter stake speaks to value of platforms by tech titans

Media Contact

Becka Bowyer

Elon Musk purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him to company’s largest shareholder, after criticizing the platform’s approach to free speech.

Alexandra Cirone

Assistant Professor in the Department of Government

Alexandra Cirone, assistant professor of government at Cornell University and expert on the spread of disinformation online, says Musk’s latest move may have taken into account the failures of former President Donald Trump’s new social media app.

Cirone says:

“Elon Musk has the financial resources to pursue his personal interests across companies, and he has discussed launching his own social media network before. Breaking into the social media market is tough, and the recent failure of Truth Social to successfully launch might have demonstrated to Musk that it’s more profitable to invest in existing platforms.

“Musk could try to use his new stake to try to influence Twitter practices. Though this might not be successful in the long run, it signals his desire to become a more active player in the social media ecosystem.”

Brooke Erin Duffy

Associate Professor of Communication

Brooke Erin Duffy, associate professor of communication at Cornell, is an expert on social media platforms and studies the intersection of media, culture and technology. She is also co-author of “Platforms and Cultural Production,” which explores the processes and implications of platformization in cultural industries.

Duffy says:

“I was shocked by the announcement which speaks to the valuation of informational and communication platforms by tech titans.”

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