The Kingdom Holding Company, the investment arm of Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud, a prince of Saudi Arabia’s ruling House of Saud, rejected SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter earlier today. In response, Musk trolled the Saudi royal on the Kingdom’s free speech record.
“I don’t believe that the proposed offer by Elon Musk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of Twitter given its growth prospects,” said the Saudi royal, a tweet posted in English and Arabic. “Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.”In response, Musk queried bin Talal on the Kingdom’s stance on free speech.
“Interesting. Just two questions, if I may,” said Musk. “How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly? What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?”
There is effectively no meaningful freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia, where criticism of the country’s ruling Islamic faith is considered blasphemy and is regularly punished with lengthy prison sentences, corporal punishment, and in some cases even death.
I don’t believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects.
Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.https://t.co/Jty05oJUTk pic.twitter.com/XpNHUAL6UX
— الوليد بن طلال (@Alwaleed_Talal) April 14, 2022
Musk sent leftists and establishment pundits into a tailspin of outrage this morning after offering to buy 100 percent of Twitter shares, and making it clear that his motivation was the restoration of free speech on the platform.
Speaking at TED 2022 later in the day, Musk reiterated that he — now Twitter’s largest shareholder, as disclosed in March — believed free speech is “important to the future of civilization.”
“A good sign as to whether there’s free speech is, is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like? If that is the case then we have free speech,” said Musk at the event.
“And it’s damn annoying, when someone you don’t like says something you don’t like. That is a sign of a healthy, functioning, free speech situation.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.