SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey posted a message late Monday saying he supports billionaire Elon Musk's deal to buy the social media company.
"Elon's goal of creating a platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is the right one," Dorsey posted on his @jack Twitter account, also saying, "this is the right path...I believe it with all my heart."
Twitter's board voted unanimously to accept a deal with Musk after negotiations over the weekend. The deal allows Musk to buy Twitter for $44 billion.
In a statement, Musk said "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated."
The news has some users celebrating, while others were wary or unsure.
"I am not an Elon Musk fan but I also tend not to mistrust most large tech corporations, so I don't know how much of a difference it's going to make," said Amber McChesney-Young of Albany.
"There's always a balance right between open free speech and things that are potentially cruel and graphic. And that's the fine line that companies need to weigh on," said Michael Smart of San Francisco.
Musk has been an outspoken opponent of blocking user content, an area social media companies are still struggling to work out where to draw the line.
"Content moderation at scale is hard and refusing to do content moderation is not the answer," said Cindy Cohn, the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Cohn says Musk's idea to open up the platform could be a positive development to encourage innovation.
"Our systems of communication shouldn't be dependent on any one person," said Cohn, "These systems may help us get to a place where we are not dependent on the decisions of billionaires as to how we speak to each other."
"When you're talking about social innovations or how moderation is treated or how people interact online on the platform then yeah, I think there's room for innovation," said John Jiang, a Seattle man who works for a San Francisco tech company.
Musk has said he's interested in seeing long-form tweets without a character limit.
He's also expressed interest in continuing with Twitter's efforts to allow editing of posts and pursuing a a pay subscription instead of an ad-based model.
Some users also say they like Musk's idea of authenticating each user.
"There's so many fake accounts for instance and one of his things is tying it down to a real human on each account and I think that's a real good thing, anywhere on YouTube comments, because people hide behind anonymity and say bad things," said Smart.
Shareholders stand to receive $54.20 in cash per share under the Musk proposal.
"I was almost going to buy some today based on the news," said Philip Cheng of San Francisco.
"The share price he was offering was about 40% over the price it was trading at," said Ludwig Chincarini, a University of San Francisco Professor of Finance.
"How much of this deal is Elon Musk doing for free speech and how much has he thought about making Twitter more profitable because he thinks he can make it better?" Chincarini asked, noting it's likely the deal will be approved.
"With board approval I think it's likely to go through. It's not a company that's merging to make a bigger company in the market," said Chincarini, "I don't see anything that is obvious that would stop this."
Shareholders still need to vote on the deal. No date has been set, but the next shareholder meeting is scheduled for May 25th.
Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU. Email Jana at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or ktvu.com.