PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) – Three days earlier than the Musk questionnaire agreed to purchase Twitter, the richest man on this planet tweeted an image of Invoice Gates and used a impolite sexual time period to chuckle on his abdomen.
Musk’s previous tweets, naughty, aggressive and sometimes younger, present how he used social media to create his public picture as a cheeky billionaire who will not be afraid to harm. They could additionally reveal clues as to how Musk will handle the platform he hopes to carry.
“Have a look at the feed: it is all over the place. It is unstable. Typically it is fairly excessive,” stated Jennifer Grigiel, a professor at Syracuse College who research social media and lately assigned Musk’s tweets as studying materials to their college students. “It paints him as a form of insurgent chief who will take over the general public sq. to save lots of her. It is a fable he constructed.”
Musk joined Twitter in 2010 and now has greater than 85 million followers – the seventh in quantity from any account and the best for any enterprise chief. He was debating whether or not to purchase the location earlier than agreeing on Monday to pay $ 44 billion for Twitter, which he says he hopes will develop into a haven the place any speak is allowed.
“I hope even my worst critics keep on Twitter, as a result of that is what freedom of expression means,” Musk wrote in a tweet.
As CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk makes use of his Twitter account to put up enterprise bulletins and promote his organizations. He displays on expertise and commerce, however has additionally posted jokes about ladies’s breasts and as soon as in contrast the Prime Minister of Canada to Hitler. He often considers world occasions. , As he did in March 2020 when he tweeted that “the corona plague is silly.”
He additionally used the invoice to punch guests, comparable to when he referred to as a diver who labored to rescue boys trapped in a collapse Thailand “Pedo”, quick for pedophile. The diver has beforehand criticized Musk’s proposal to make use of the submarine to save lots of the boys. Musk, who gained the defamation go well with filed by the diver, later stated he by no means meant “Pedo” to be interpreted as a “pedophile.”
A couple of years in the past, after software program engineer Sher Scarlett criticized Musk’s dealing with of the cave incident, the tech billionaire fired again and was quickly harassed by dozens of Musk’s on-line followers. He later deleted the posts, however not earlier than Scarlett was compelled to lock her account as a result of she obtained so many hate messages.
“It is ironic to me that somebody who claims he needs to purchase Twitter to guard freedom of expression has such skinny pores and skin,” she stated. “He is a really sensible man, and when he responds to the individuals who criticize him, he is aware of what he is doing. To me it is not selling freedom of expression, it is activating a weapon of freedom of expression, and I feel that is what he’ll do with this platform.”
19-year-old Jack Sweeney caught Musk’s consideration when he created an automatic Twitter account that tracks Musk’s aircraft actions. Musk responded by providing Sweeney $ 5,000 to withdraw the invoice. When Sweeney refused, Musk blocked him on Twitter.
Sweeney stated he fears he may do away with the location fully if Musk’s takeover is authorised. However he stated he likes the absolutism of Musk’s freedom of expression, and hopes he succeeds.
“He’ll make it extra open, and I feel that is a very good factor,” Sweeney stated.
Musk’s use of Twitter has additionally led to issues for his corporations. In a single tweet in August 2018, for instance, Musk claimed he had the funding to take Tesla personal for $ 420 a share, although a courtroom dominated that was not true. This led to an SEC investigation by which Musk remains to be preventing.
Lately, Musk seems to have violated SEC legal guidelines that required him to reveal that he had acquired a 5% stake in Twitter; As a substitute he waited till he had greater than 9%. Specialists say these points are unlikely to have an effect on his Twitter acquisition.
Final 12 months one other federal company, the Nationwide Labor Relations Council, ordered Musk to delete a tweet that officers stated had illegally threatened to chop inventory choices for Tesla staff who joined the United Car Employees Union.
These tweets helped set up Musk’s repute as a cheeky outsider, a billionaire employee, Grigil stated. However that doesn’t imply he’s geared up to run a social media platform with greater than 200 million customers, the professor added.
“Perhaps he needs to burn it,” Grigil stated. “I have no idea. However I do know that it reveals that no man ought to have such energy.”