Elon Musk Now Only Values Twitter At $20 Billion As Firm Demands GitHub To Identify Source Code Leaker

According to an email addressed to the company’s employees on Friday, Elon Musk stated that Twitter is now worth roughly $20 billion, a considerable decrease from the $44 billion he paid to acquire the social network in October.

The email was sent to staff to advertise a new stock compensation program, according to The New York Times. In it, Musk warned employees that Twitter was still in a fragile financial position–with debts of $13 billion related to the financing of the takeover–and was only four months away from running out of cash at one point.

“Twitter is being reshaped rapidly,” Musk said, adding that the company might be considered an “inverse start-up.”

Compounding on the firm’s concerns, part of Twitter’s computer code has been released on the internet. According to documents filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Twitter sent a subpoena on March 24 to the software collaboration platform GitHub, where a user described as “FreeSpeechEnthusiast” (an apparent nod to Musk, referring to himself as a “free speech absolutist”) posted parts of Twitter’s source code without permission.

According to the records, the goal of the subpoena is to identify the person responsible for spreading the code.

The leaked code has been removed from GitHub, but Twitter has sought a US court to order the Microsoft-owned company to “identify the alleged infringer or infringers who posted Twitter’s source code on systems operated by GitHub without Twitter’s authorization.”

Before Musk completed his takeover, a whistleblower harshly criticized Twitter’s cybersecurity structure. Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, Twitter’s former head of security who was fired in January 2022, claimed he discovered “extreme, egregious deficiencies by Twitter in every area of his mandate,” including poor controls over employee access to user data and foreign government meddling.

Zatko’s revelations were partly the reason why Musk initially backed out of buying Twitter, claiming the social media firm is in violation of the merger arrangement as a result of supposed material noncompliance with data privacy, unfair trade practices, and consumer protection laws.

According to the tech newsletter Platformer, Musk is obsessed with the threat of Twitter being sabotaged by current and former employees, following a takeover that resulted in the immediate firing of half of Twitter’s 7,500 staff and the reinstatement of formerly suspended rightwing accounts, including Donald Trump’s. Twitter’s staff is now less than 2,000 individuals.

Twitter employees will get stock in X Corporation, the holding firm Musk established to purchase the company, according to Musk’s email detailing the new equity incentive program. These rewards will be made in accordance with the $20 billion valuation.

Musk also stated in the email that he believes Twitter will be worth $250 billion someday.

The platform, which derives the majority of its revenue from advertising, has also been hammered by an advertiser boycott following Musk’s acquisition, owing to worries about problems such as moderation standards and the impact of job cutbacks.

As Musk seeks new revenue streams to turn around the company, Twitter has begun seeking regulatory licenses across the United States and writing the software required to implement payments on the social media site.

Information for this briefing was found via The New York Times, The Guardian, CNBC, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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