What Elon Musk’s Previous Tweets Reveal About Twitter’s Subsequent Proprietor

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Brash, outspoken and generally juvenile, Elon Musk has lengthy been a prolific person of Twitter, the social media platform he now hopes to purchase

Three days earlier than Elon Musk agreed to purchase Twitter, the world’s richest man tweeted a photograph of Invoice Gates and used a crude sexual time period to make enjoyable of his stomach.

Playful, aggressive and infrequently juvenile, Musk’s previous tweets present how he has used social media to craft his public picture as a brash billionaire unafraid to offend. They might additionally reveal clues as to how Musk will govern the platform he hopes to personal.

“Take a look at the feed: It is far and wide. It is erratic. At occasions it is fairly excessive,” stated Jennifer Grygiel, a Syracuse College professor who research social media and who just lately assigned Musk’s tweets as studying materials for his or her college students. “It paints him as some form of insurgent chief who will take management of the general public sq. to reserve it. That could be a fantasy he has constructed.”

Musk joined Twitter in 2010 and now has greater than 85 million followers — the seventh most of any account and the very best for any enterprise chief. He had mused about shopping for the location earlier than he agreed on Monday to pay $44 billion for Twitter, which he stated he hopes to show right into a haven the place all speech is allowed.

“I hope that even my worst critics stay on Twitter, as a result of that’s what free speech means,” Musk wrote in a tweet.

Because the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk makes use of his Twitter account to make enterprise bulletins and promote his enterprises. He muses about expertise and commerce, however has additionally posted jokes about ladies’s breasts and as soon as in contrast Canada’s prime minister to Hitler. He recurrently weighs in on world occasions, as he did in March 2020 when he tweeted that “The coronavirus pandemic is dumb.”

He is additionally used the account to punch again at critics, corresponding to when he known as a diver working to rescue boys trapped in a collapse Thailand a “pedo,” quick for pedophile. The diver had beforehand criticized Musk’s proposal to make use of a sub to rescue the boys. Musk, who gained a defamation go well with filed by the diver, later stated he by no means meant “pedo” to be interpreted as “pedophile.”

Just a few years in the past, after software program engineer Cher Scarlett criticized Musk’s dealing with of the cave incident, the tech billionaire fired again and she or he was quickly being harassed by dozens of Musk’s on-line followers. He later deleted the posts, however not earlier than Scarlett needed to lock down her account as a result of she was receiving so many hateful messages.

“It is ironic to me that someone who claims they need to purchase Twitter to guard free speech has such skinny pores and skin,” she stated. “He is a really good man, and when he replies to folks that criticize him, he is aware of what he is doing. To me that is not championing free speech, it is weaponizing free speech, and I feel that is what he’ll do proudly owning this platform.”

Nineteen-year-old Jack Sweeney obtained Musk’s consideration when he created an automatic Twitter account that tracked the actions of Musk’s jet. Musk responded by providing Sweeney $5,000 to tug the account. When Sweeney refused, Musk blocked him on Twitter.

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