Billionaire Elon Musk to acquire Twitter for approximately $44 billion

Tesla's outspoken CEO, who is also the world's richest person, said he wants to buy Twitter because he believes it doesn't live up to its potential as a platform

for "free speech" and should be turned into a private company to foster trust among users and improve in meeting what it calls a "social imperative" of freedom of expression.

“Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world,” its CEO, Parag Agrawal, tweeted.

"I am deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work, which has never been more important."

Musk describes himself as a "free speech absolutist," though he hasn't clarified exactly what he means by that.

In a recent TED interview, the billionaire said he'd like to see Twitter err on the side of allowing speech rather than moderating it.