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Morning Brew

Battleface

Good morning. Kane Tanaka, the Japanese woman who was certified as the world's oldest person, died last week at 119 years old.

Just how long of a stretch is 119 years? Tanaka came into this world the same year that the Wright brothers conducted the first powered, sustained flight of an airplane, and she left it right before Elon Musk bought Twitter.

Neal Freyman, Matty Merritt

MARKETS

Nasdaq

13,004.85

S&P

4,296.12

Dow

34,049.46

10-Year

2.826%

Bitcoin

$40,136.78

Twitter

$51.70

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 10:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks ticked higher, but far juicier was the market's reaction to Twitter accepting Elon Musk's takeover bid. Twitter stock (which won't be a thing soon) jumped, the company merging with former President Trump's Truth Social app fell 12.9%, and Elon's preferred crypto, dogecoin, soared more than 25%.

SOCIAL MEDIA

He actually did it

Elon Musk celebrating after buying Twitter Dianna "Mick" McDougall, Photos: Getty Images

There comes a point in every billionaire's life when they set out to own a mass communications platform. For Jeff Bezos, that came in 2013 with his purchase of The Washington Post.

For Elon Musk, that moment came yesterday. After initially balking at Musk's offer when he submitted it 12 days ago, Twitter's board of directors agreed to accept his bid to take the company private for $44 billion in cash. When the transaction closes, Twitter will become a private entity solely owned by Musk, the richest person in the world.

We don't know exactly what the platform will look like or who will run it under Musk's ownership. But we know that Musk has criticized the company's content moderation policies and has pledged to turn it into a "platform for free speech around the globe."

Under that policy, it's not hard to imagine that Twitter would un-ban former President Trump, who's been blocked from the platform since the days following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. When asked about it, Trump said, "I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH," referring to his own social media network.

Here come the takes

As expected, people digested the news with thoughtfulness and restraint. The takes generally fall into three camps:

1. This is good for Twitter. The company hasn't exactly been lighting up the financial charts—it's got 115 million fewer daily users than Snapchat and has posted a profit in just 14 of its 33 earnings calls as a public company. Its 2021 revenue of $5.1 billion was less than Lululemon's.

With Twitter treading water, some tech analysts, such as Stratechery's Ben Thompson, say that Musk—who has a history of creating really valuable companies—could unlock Twitter's potential by better monetizing Twitter's influential user base consisting of leaders in tech, media, and finance.

2. This is bad for Twitter…and democracy. Social media safety experts say that the industry's recent crackdown on misinformation is critical to preserving democratic norms. Without "rules of the road," which Elon Musk is suggesting abolishing, Twitter risks rendering its site unusable and fueling dangerous activities in the real world.

Putting all of the control of Twitter in the hands of one person—let alone one with a variety of business interests around the globe—would be just as damaging, critics argue. As Bloomberg notes, in 2020 Twitter said it would start labeling some Chinese accounts as "state-affiliated media." But Tesla, of which Elon Musk is CEO, is betting big on the Chinese market. What would Elon do if Chinese President Xi Jinping asked him to remove those labels?

3. This won't matter all that much. People in the "everyone is overreacting" camp say that Elon's Twitter will be a series of marginal tweaks and endless compromises that may not move the needle one way or the other.

Further reading: 1) Everything Elon Musk said he wants to change about Twitter and 2) a grand theory of what Elon's up to with Twitter.—NF

        

TOGETHER WITH BATTLEFACE

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Don't lose sleep over uncontrollable, unpredictable situations—protect your trips with battleface.

WORLD

Tour de headlines

U.S. President Donald Trump listens during an event in the Oval Office of the White House August 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Image

Things could get expensive for Donald Trump. The former president will have to fork over $10,000 a day in fines after being held in contempt of court by a New York judge. The judge determined that Trump failed to hand over documents related to an investigation by New York's attorney general, who is looking into whether Trump inflated asset values in his financial statements.

The case of the praying football coach. The Supreme Court heard opening arguments yesterday in a case brought by a public high school football coach in Washington state, who was suspended from his job for leading prayers on the field after games. The coach said the school violated his rights to religious expression; the school contends it couldn't allow the prayers to continue, since they could be perceived as an endorsement of religion.

Apes gone phishing. For the second time this month, the celeb-packed NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club was duped by scammers. The BAYC Instagram account was hacked yesterday morning and a fake ad tricked users into clicking a link that gave hackers access to their digital wallets. While the exact damage is unclear, ape-nappers stole millions of dollars worth of NFTs in a matter of hours.

        

ENERGY

Pic of the day

Greenpeace environmental activists stage an action against the ship Ust Luga Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

While this looks like a painting at the Met, it is in fact a 100% real photograph taken yesterday.

What you're looking at: Environmental activists chained themselves to a tanker that was offloading its cargo of 105,000+ tons of Russian oil at a Norwegian port. Greenpeace Norway leader Frode Pleym said the action was in protest of Norway buying Russian oil, "which we know finances Putin's warfare."

A spokesperson for Esso, an Exxon subsidiary that placed the order, said the company had made the purchase before Russia launched its invasion and had no plans to buy more Russian oil.—NF

        

AUTO

Con Air remake is gonna be electric

Chevy electric Corvette sneak peak General Motors

Your dad's group chat was popping off yesterday. GM President Mark Reuss said that Chevy will sell an "electrified" (AKA hybrid, probably) Corvette next year, and eventually make it all-electric. There's been a lot of anticipation for the iconic sports car's non-gas version since GM said in January 2021 it would commit to exclusively selling EVs by 2035.

  • Last August, President Biden even joked during a speech, "When they make the first electric Corvette, I get to drive it." Let's see that executive order first, Joe.

The new 'Vette will join the growing list of notorious, engine-revving, sleeveless-shirt-wearing-macho-dude vehicles being electrified. Last July, Dodge said it would release an EV muscle car in 2024. And Ford slapped the Mustang name on its first electric SUV in 2019.

Zoom out: Legacy automakers are betting it all on an electric future. GM said last June it would invest $35 billion through 2025 to boost EV- and autonomous vehicle (AV) tech, including spending $7 billion to build a Michigan battery plant and update other factories in the state for EV production.—MM

        

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

the Twitter logo on a computer screen Francis Scialabba

Stat: With 84.3 million followers as of yesterday evening, Elon Musk is the eighth-most followed Twitter account, ranking behind Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and other celebs. (Barack Obama is No. 1.) Elon has tweeted more than 17,300 times, and averages 125,180 likes per tweet, according to Socialtracker.

Quote: "The best way to understand virtual reality is to experience it."

Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the Meta Store, the company's first physical storefront, is opening in Burlingame, CA, next month. It's meant to showcase Meta's VR and AR devices, such as virtual reality headsets, the Ray-Ban Stories smart sunglasses, and the Portal gadget. For more detail on what Meta's up to, check out our metaverse breakdown.

Read: The 37% rule in dating. (Big Think)

        

BREW'S BETS

Redactle is wack: This daily game gives you a redacted Wikipedia article, and you have to fill in words to determine the title. A grind but so fun.

Gotta catch 'em all:  Emerging Tech Brew is diving deep into carbon capture tech with Supercritical CEO Michelle You in its next Twitter Spaces event this morning at 11:30am ET. Set a reminder.

Is bitcoin an inflation hedge? Meet the traders who believe it is (and the others who think they're dead wrong) in the latest entry to our Crypto Crash Course.

Grab your slice of the $660B pie : Only 8 days left to invest in this scalable, tech-powered pizza concept. 800° GO offers drool-worthy pizza 24/7—and with twice the profit margins of a traditional pizzeria. Don't miss your chance to invest by May 4.*

Hear from goal-setting gurus: On May 5, NY Times best-selling author and star of MTV's The Buried Life Ben Nemtin will join the ExpressTalks broadcast to discuss accomplishing goals and identifying roadblocks. You could even win a career-coaching sesh with radio host Bobby Bones. Register here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Beijing authorities began mass testing the city's population to contain a Covid outbreak. Residents lined up outside of supermarkets out of concern that they'd be subject to a lockdown similar to Shanghai's.
  • Coca-Cola's managing inflation as good as anybody. The company's sales grew by a better-than-expected 16% last quarter.
  • The customers who went on the first all-private mission to the ISS splashed down off the coast of Florida yesterday.
  • Starlink will provide wireless internet on Hawaiian Airlines as early as next year…for free. It's the service's first deal with a major airline.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew Mini: Breed of dog owned by Queen Elizabeth II since 1933 (five letters). Know the answer? Fill it in here.

Guess the Wikipedia article

The following is a screenshot of the Wikipedia section headings for which song?

Wikipedia section headers

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ANSWER

"Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees. Anyone who's seen this clip got that easily.

         

Written by Neal Freyman and Matty Merritt

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