Tesla CEO Elon Musk ironically asked Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud Thursday about his thoughts on free speech after he said he rejected Musk’s offer to buy Twitter.
“I don’t believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects,” the prince tweeted. “Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.”
Musk then jumped in.
“Interesting. Just two questions, if I may. How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly? What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?”
Interesting. Just two questions, if I may.
How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly?
What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
Saudi Arabia is notorious for its surveillance and arrest of journalists. Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered in a crime personally approved by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, according to U.S. officials.
Abdulrahman Sadhan was abducted by Saudi security forces in 2018 for a Twitter account used to parody officials, according to The New Republic.
“Saudi Arabia is carrying out more repression [than ever],” Sadhan’s brother, Areej Al Sadhan reportedly said. “They are ruthlessly going after anyone who exercises their freedom of speech.” (RELATED: Musk Says There Is A ‘Plan B’ If Twitter Doesn’t Sell To Him)
Abdulrahman Sadhan was sentenced to 20 years in prison for violating the country’s speech laws that allow officials to essentially silence dissenters.
Areej Al Sadhan criticized Twitter’s alleged lack of action that has allowed Saudi officials to silence dissent on Twitter.
“There was no real step taken by the company to take care of and protect these activists,” she reportedly said.
Musk announced Thursday he wanted to buy all of Twitter for a staggering $43.4 billion. The news comes following Musk’s rejection of a seat on the board after he became the company’s largest shareholder.