“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary vehemently trashed Twitter and its leadership for the company’s lackluster performance and slammed the social media platform as dwelling at a lower level of Dante’s hell. Despite the merciless tongue-lashing, O’Leary proclaimed that he would join Elon Musk in purchasing Twitter because of the Tesla CEO’s remarkable track record.
O’Leary skewered Twitter during a recent appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” – where he declared that the social media network has “totally lagged all its other competitors” and is the “most miserable investment you could have put your dollars into in social media.”
“Never grew anywhere near as fast as Google or Facebook or Instagram or even TikTok,” O’Leary stressed.
“You have to ask yourself, the rotating suite of executives have come through this thing, and all the stock options issued over the last nine years have created virtually no value for the shareholder,” O’Leary said. “Why not get the whacking stick out and just start all over again. And that’s what Elon Musk is proposing.”
“The biggest risk for shareholders here – whether you believe in the free speech issue or not – is if Musk goes away, then they’re they’re back in the same miserable place they are now,” O’Leary stated, then joked, “You know, there’s Dante’s hell, at the very bottom of that is Twitter.
O’Leary continued to bash Twitter, “This has been a horrific place to try and grow a business. It needs change. It needs the whacking stick. It needs everybody cleaned out of there.”
“You’ve got to ask yourself, it’s horrific what this company has done to their shareholders – I weep like a baby for them,” he said.
O’Leary said he “wouldn’t touch” Twitter’s stock, except on one condition: “If Elon Musk gave me a piece of the deal.”
O’Leary said he would jump onboard Twitter because of Musk’s “executional performance on everything he touches.”
“The rest of this board and those employees have done a horrifically bad job,” O’Leary asserted. “I think they should be fired.”
O’Leary then condemned Twitter for censorship and stifling free speech.
“And I think frankly, if you ask me about free speech and who should be canceled and who’s not, the reason this thing is underperformed is they’ve tried to do this curation by canceling voices and losing millions of followers,” he explained. “This is an abysmal performance.”
“Squawk Box” co-anchor Andrew Sorkin questioned what Twitter would look like with no moderation, and suggested that the social media platform would be flooded with pornography and snuff films.
O’Leary retorted, “Andrew, all of that already exists on the internet and uncurated way and people seem to be surviving, all of that exists.”
“Now, you know, when you start to try and figure out who should have a voice and who shouldn’t, you’re stepping on the basic principles of free speech in America,” the “Shark Tank” star said. “And that really doesn’t sit well with the majority of the people who believe in free speech.”
O’Leary again voiced his support for free speech on the internet.
“The cost of free speech, the cost to society, is allowing the lunatic fringe to have a voice, and that’s always been the case – back to when they were writing newspapers by hand,” O’Leary rebutted. “You got to get over that Andrew, you have to realize that the lunatic fringe has a voice.”
“The point is you can’t curate the entire internet,” he added. “It’s not going to work. You have to buy tools, and that’s what Twitter should do.”
On Thursday, it was revealed in a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Musk has secured the necessary financing to buy Twitter. Musk has reportedly received commitments for $46.5 billion to help finance the potential deal of acquiring Twitter.
You can watch Kevin O’Leary slam Twitter in the video below.
Kevin O’Leary: Twitter needs change, I wouldn’t touch this stock