Brad Greenspan, a founder of one of the earliest social networking sites, Myspace, said on Tuesday that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was in a “great position to live the entrepreneur’s dream” and start his own “Twitter clone” as opposed to buying the social media platform.
Greenspan, who is the founder of Intermix/eUniverse Inc., which started Myspace in 2003, made the argument that Musk will deeply regret his Twitter purchase on “Varney & Co.” about two weeks after the deal was announced.
“I think he is taking the much harder road,” Greenspan told host Stuart Varney, adding that he “was surprised” when he first heard about the deal, especially given the Tesla CEO had more than 90 million followers.
“He was in a great position to live the entrepreneur’s dream and start his own Twitter clone,” Greenspan argued.
“He would be able to hire all the people he liked. He wouldn’t have to go through piece by piece surgically reconstructing Twitter and he would be able to invest a heck of a lot less money and he would own 100% rather than have to piecemeal it out to raise the money and effectively give a lot of control up.”
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.”
He added that he wants “to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spambots, and authenticating all humans.”
Musk is a frequent citric of Twitter, which he has previously accused of stifling free speech. In the past, the tech executive, who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist,” has proposed relaxing Twitter content restrictions.
During a recent interview at a TED conference, Musk argued that social media networks should not remove comments that are offensive if they are still legal.
“If it’s a gray area, let the tweet exist,” Musk said.
When Varney asked if he thinks Musk can run Twitter properly, make a profit and restore free speech, Greenspan argued that the Tesla CEO is a “newbie” in the space and “has no real internet operating experience or successes.”
The transaction is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Twitter independent board chairman Brett Taylor said the company “conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing.”
FOX Business’ Megen Henney and Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.