Apple CEO opposes app legislation, Russian cyberattack foiled, European telecoms quit Russia: Broadband breakfast

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2022 — Elon Muskthe CEO of electric car company Tesla, has offered to buy Twitter and take the publicly traded company private for $43 billion, he announced on Thursday.

Despite not having board approval, Musk told a securities commission and that filing the $43 billion offer is “not a threat, it’s not just isn’t a good investment without the changes.” Musk criticized the company’s free speech policies.

“It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it,” he added. “If the deal doesn’t work out, given that I don’t have confidence in management and don’t believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I should reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

Musk’s proposal comes a week after announcing the purchase of a 9.2% stake in the company. That same week, Twitter’s board awarded Musk a seat with the take that he couldn’t exceed a certain purchase threshold. He refused the seat.

In a letter sent to the president of Twitter Bret Taylor, Musk wrote: “I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech worldwide, and I believe that free speech is a societal imperative for a democracy that works.”

Twitter’s board will meet Thursday morning to discuss the proposal, he said.

Civil society groups call for more work to improve information flow to Ukraine

In an open letter published on Wednesday, two dozen civil society groups encourage social media platforms to ensure that people in crisis areas, particularly in Ukraine, have access to factual information via social media platforms while that the Russian invasion continues.

“What we are asking platforms to do is invest more time and effort in improving their operations now, not when the ongoing violence is in the media spotlight and it is often already too late to act”, pleads the letter.

The letter comes as social media companies struggle to keep misinformation and disinformation out of the war in Ukraine. For example, platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter have all significantly reduced Russian-backed ads. Meanwhile, YouTube, Meta’s Facebook and TikTok block Russian media, like RT and Sputnik, from using their platforms inside the European Union. Yet social media platforms still struggle to deliver accurate information to users while balancing heavy censorship.

Google invests $9.5 billion in Google offices and data centers

On Wednesday, the CEO of Google and Alphabet Sundar Pichai announced a $9.5 billion investment to expand Google’s offices and data centers across the country.

The company wrote that this new expansion would equate to “at least” 12,000 new jobs in the US market.

“Google’s offices and data centers provide vital anchors to our local communities and help us contribute to their economies. In the United States, over the past five years, we have invested more than $37 billion in our offices and data centers in 26 states, creating more than 40,000 full-time jobs.This is in addition to the more than $40 billion in research and development that we have invested in the United States in 2020 and 2021. Today , we are announcing plans to invest approximately $9.5 billion in our US offices and data centers in 2022,” Pichai wrote.

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