Elon Musk reveals Twitter source code leaked, platform worth half purchase price

Musk said "Twitter is being reshaped rapidly" and that everyone should think of the social media platform as an "inverse start-up."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Friday, an internal memo from Twitter revealed that the company was valued at $20 billion, a figure less than half of Twitter owner Elon Musk's $44 billion purchase price. The devaluation came after a portion of its proprietary source code had been leaked on the internet and posted anonymously to GitHub, where developers post open-source software data.

The New York Times obtained an email from Musk to his employees announcing a new stock award program, in which he also told employees about the company's devaluation and that he would need to make "radical changes" in the future to avoid bankruptcy, including layoffs. He said "Twitter is being reshaped rapidly" and that everyone should think of the social media platform as an "inverse start-up."

Musk's stock compensation program for Twitter employees will mirror a similar one he uses for SpaceX. Workers obtain stock grants not for Twitter but for X Corporation, the holding company Musk used to buy Twitter. Every six months the employees have the ability to sell or cash in the grants.

Musk said in the memo that, if things payoff, Twitter could be valued one day at $250 billion, but in the short term, without changes, the company could face bankruptcy in 4 months. Twitter Blue remains one of Musk's tools to increase revenue as legacy accounts become phased out and users will be required to pay for their blue checkmark.

On the same day Musk sent the memo, Twitter successfully removed a portion of its proprietary source code from the internet and filed a court order to find the leaker, who took to GitHub under the pseudonym FreeSpeechEnthusiast, created on January 3, to post the source code.

According to CNN, Twitter had the code removed after submitting a copyright claim to GitHub. Twitter followed up and filed a subpoena in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Their legal maneuver aims to force GitHub to reveal the contact information, including IP addresses, that will lead to the person behind FreeSpeechEnthusiast.

In the court filing Twitter wrote, "The purpose for which Twitter’s DMCA Subpoena is sought is to obtain the identity of an alleged infringer or infringers, and such information will only be used for the purpose of protecting Twitter’s rights."


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