Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has put the $44 billion Twitter deal on hold, said on Thursday that he will now vote for Republicans, as conservatives return to the micro-blogging platform. Musk, who has gained nearly 11 million followers since he first announced Twitter takeover last month, said that the political attacks on him will escalate dramatically in the coming months. "In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican," Musk tweeted. "Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold," he added.
Musk earlier said that for Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally. The 'free speech absolutist' Musk, who asked Twitter to remove the ban of former US President Donald Trump, has managed to shift the dynamics of Twitter just before the all-crucial 2022 midterm elections in the US. A Washington Post analysis of hundreds of Twitter accounts found that right-leaning accounts, including Republican members of Congress, received a surge in followers since the deal was announced last month, even as their Democratic counterparts' followings decreased. Accounts of conservatives have seen a sudden influx in the number of followers, while liberals have lost out on followers after news broke that the tech billionaire has bought Twitter in a $44 billion deal.