Character Limit: How Elon Musk Destroyed Twitter

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'The definitive account of how the world’s richest man, in a fit of unbridled vanity and arrogance, took over and destroyed our digital town square' John Carreyrou, bestselling author of Bad Blood?

‘Astonishing. Kate Conger and Ryan Mac’s meticulous, comprehensive reporting turns an opaque mess brutally transparent’ Jia Tolentino, bestselling author of Trick Mirror

‘Gripping… Through fly-on-the-wall reporting, Character Limit takes readers inside Elon Musk's tumultuous Twitter takeover and the disruption of a company, an industry, and the online public square. What a wild ride' Bradley Hope, bestselling author of Billion Dollar Whale

In a world of viral ideas and emotion, who gets to control the narrative, who gets to be heard, and what does power really cost?

This is the story of the showdown between Elon Musk and Twitter and how the richest man on earth suddenly came to control one of the most powerful media platforms in the world. In Character Limit, award-winning reporters Kate Conger and Ryan Mac draw on exclusive interviews, unreported documents and internal Twitter recordings to provide a revelatory, three-dimensional, and definitive account of what really happened when Musk showed up to takeover Twitter, spoiling for a brawl and intent on revolution, with his merciless, sycophantic cadre of lawyers, investors, and bankers.

In part, this is the story of Twitter's founder, Jack Dorsey, who idealistically dreamed of building a 'digital town square' but detested Wall Street and never built a profitable business, and Musk, one of the site's most influential users with over 70 million followers. To Musk, Twitter—once known for its almost absolute commitment to free speech—had utterly lost its way. Blaming it for the proliferation of what he called the “woke mind virus”, he claimed that the survival of humanity itself depended on the future of the site.

In January 2022, Musk began secretly accumulating Twitter stock. By April, he was its largest shareholder, and, soon after, he made an unsolicited offer to purchase the company for the unimaginable sum of $44 billion. Backed into a corner, Twitter’s board accepted his offer—only for Musk to change his mind, forcing Twitter to sue him.

Drawing on unparalleled sources, this is the defining story of our time told in vivid, cinematic detail.

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