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Elon Musk says there wasn't a single 'breaking point' that made him buy Twitter, but that he feared a rise in online 'groupthink'

Elon Musk in front of Twitter birds.
Elon Musk bought Twitter in October 2022, six months after starting his takeover.Patrick Pleul/Getty Images; Vicky Leta/Insider
  • Elon Musk said during a Twitter Space that there was no "breaking point" which made him buy the company.

  • "It's not like 'Oh the Babylon Bee got banned, that's why I bought Twitter.' That would be crazy," he said.

  • Instead, Musk said that general concerns about free speech online motivated him to purchase Twitter.

Elon Musk says he bought Twitter because he was concerned about free speech, and attacked what he called "groupthink amongst the media" during a conversation on Twitter over the weekend.

The world's richest person made the comments in a Twitter Space hosted by crypto entrepreneur Mario Nawfal, which attracted as many as two million listeners at its highest point.

Ian Miles Cheong, a right-wing Twitter personality, asked Musk what the "breaking point" was that made him want to buy the social media platform.

But Musk said that it wasn't one thing in particular, adding: "It's not like 'Oh the Babylon Bee got banned, that's why I bought Twitter.' That would be crazy."

The conservative satire website was suspended in March after refusing to delete a tweet naming Rachel Levine, a transgender government official, the "Man of the Year."

Musk made his first offer to buy Twitter at $43 billion around three weeks later. Since completing his takeover in late October, Musk has restored The Babylon Bee's account among others, including former president Donald Trump and conservative broadcaster Andrew Tate.

Instead, the Twitter CEO said that it was larger, more general concerns about free speech that motivated him to buy the platform he has called a "digital town square."

"Basically, just, we are traveling the path more and more of suppression of free speech. And this was just getting me concerned," Musk said.

"The trends were just very, very bad. So, unless something was done to reverse this trend against free speech, then I felt, maybe at some point, everything will just get cut off."

Musk then pointed towards "more and more groupthink amongst the media" for his concerns.

"Unless you're in agreement with whatever the groupthink is, you're just going to be ostracized or your voice will be shut off," he added.

Musk has previously called himself a "free speech absolutist," but has a track record of silencing his own critics.

He has also faced criticism from UN human rights official Volker Türk, who raised concerns about disinformation and hate speech, adding "free speech is not a free pass."

On Friday, journalist Matt Taibbi shared a Twitter thread detailing internal company discussions suppressing a story about Hunter Biden's laptop, amid a debate over the first amendment.

Dubbed "The Twitter Files," the documents were promoted by Musk himself, while Taibbi noted he had to "agree to certain conditions" in order to publish them.

Read the original article on Business Insider