One of Twitter’s most irresponsible users is now its largest shareholder.
Yep, Elon Musk—the Tesla executive with a storied history of inciting harassment, spreading misinformation, and trolling lawmakers with extremely immature digs on the social media platform—recently snatched up 9.2 percent of the company.
The news, which sent stock prices surging over 27 percent on Monday, has already produced a string of absurd developments: Donald Trump supporters are now petitioning Musk to allow their fearless leader back on the platform. Musk, who has previously suggested that Twitter doesn’t adhere to free speech, appears to be teasing some big changes, in addition to crowdsourcing an “edit” button. As for the billionaire’s detractors, they’ve been flooding Twitter with reminders that Musk—again, one of the most powerful men in the world—falsely attacked a random dude as a pedophile after he dared to poke fun at Musk’s mini-submarine.
I’m not one to pay much attention to our tech billionaire overlords (though I am obsessed with Amanda Seyfried’s brilliant performance of Elizabeth Holmes and the disgraced Theranos CEO’s horrendous dance moves). But the Musk news happens to fit neatly into a Venn diagram of some of the worst parts of our current news cycle. That includes Trump’s flailing efforts at Truth Social—hence his supporters rallying for a Twitter return—and the complete mainstreaming of false and malicious accusations of pedophilia within the Republican Party.
Here’s to hoping that Twitter, which apparently didn’t care to read Mother Jones in 2019, can convince Musk to start behaving like a normal human being. Until then, refresh your memory with a greatest hits of Musk’s trouble-making tweets here.