A cryptic joke about his own death that attracted millions of interactions and a hat tip to the taste of chocolate milk this week again proved Elon Musk is Twitter’s dominant force, but the billionaire’s ambition to take literal ownership of the platform has come into question after he said Friday his deal to buy the company was “on hold.”
Elon Musk authored three of the top six tweets in terms of interactions over the past week, continuing a dominant stretch for him that started in April when the Twitter board accepted his $44 billion offer to take over the company, according to data compiled by social media tracking firm NewsWhip.
The No. 1 post on Twitter over the past week was Musk saying: “If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin ya,” in apparent response to a former deputy Russian prime minister accusing Musk of being “involved in supplying the fascist forces in Ukraine with military communication equipment”–Musk has provided Ukraine with SpaceX satellite internet systems.
As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the message has been retweeted more than 200,000 times and received more than 1.9 million likes.
Musk’s cryptic post attracted more than 50% more interactions than the No. 2 tweet this week: an album tracklist shared by K-Pop supergroup BTS.
The No. 3 tweet was also from Musk, who simply noted: “Chocolate milk is insanely good. Just had some.”
His next most-popular tweet, No. 6 overall, was an attack on President Joe Biden, arguing: “Biden’s mistake is that he thinks he was elected to transform the country, but actually everyone just wanted less drama.”
Twitter’s board in April backed Musk’s offer to buy the company for $54.20 a share, but the stock price has tumbled nearly 25% since then to $40.72 as investors worry the deal might fall through. Musk vowed Friday he remains “committed to acquisition,” stating he’s just awaiting details supporting Twitter’s claim that fake or spam accounts make up less than 5% of users. But there have been other red flags casting doubt on the deal. The Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly launched an investigation into Musk to review why he waited weeks to tell regulators he bought a 5% stake in the company in March, missing a 10-day disclosure deadline. The delay may have saved Musk more than $143 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy the company needs approval from regulators and Twitter’s stockholders before being finalized.
Musk said Tuesday he would lift former President Donald Trump’s Twitter ban, but Trump responded by saying he remains committed to his new Truth Social platform, promising to “never go back to Twitter.” Trump also took swipes at Musk, saying on Truth Social “only a stupid person would buy Twitter for that price,” before suggesting Musk “may have illegally bought his shares.”