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Tesla CEO’s purchase caps a six-month saga over the future of the social media giant.

Elon Musk has officially taken control of Twitter after finalising a $44bn deal to buy the social media network.

In one of his first decisions at the helm of the social media giant, Musk fired three top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, local time, citing three anonymous sources.

Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, the top executive for legal policy, trust and safety, were also let go, the newspaper reported.

The Tesla CEO’s purchase caps a six-month saga that saw Twitter initially resist Musk’s purchase offer and then sue the billionaire after he signalled he would walk away from the deal due to concerns about spam accounts.

Musk’s interest in the platform has become a lightning rod for the debate around free speech in the digital age, with critics expressing fears his control of the platform could mean open slather for hate speech and misinformation.

Musk, who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist”, has criticised Twitter’s moderation policies and objected to censorship that goes beyond the requirements of the law.

In a lengthy message posted on Twitter before the purchase deadline on Friday, Musk, who earlier changed his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit,” denied any intention to turn Twitter into a “free-for-all hellscape”.

“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” he said.

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