Back in April, when Elon Musk first made a bid for Twitter, people wondered why the leader of SpaceX and Tesla would want a largely unprofitable social media website.
Vice posited a theory: Musk had “terminal main character syndrome,” a desire to be the guy everybody talked about all the time.
Two months into his ownership, he has largely succeeded. A new story about Twitter and Musk breaks into almost every news cycle.
… started with Musk getting booed at a Dave Chappelle performance and continued Wednesday when Twitter suspended an account that tracked Musk’s private jet, citing a new policy banning the release of any person’s live location.
But that was just the warm up:
- On Thursday, Twitter suspended the accounts of several high-profile tech journalists — and then a Fox Business reporter who covered the suspensions.
- On Saturday, Twitter suspended Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz, who said she had recently asked Musk for a comment on a story.
Musk’s lust for the spotlight has cost him
In the short term:
- Tesla is slumping.
- Forbes calculated Musk was no longer the richest man in the world.
- A senior EU official tweeted that the “arbitrary suspension of journalists” could lead to sanctions under the Digital Services Act, according to Bloomberg.
But in the long-run Musk says his Twitter ownership will be good for Tesla (without providing details), and his actions have spurred growing influence for media companies outside the mainstream, per Axios, including Twitter itself.
Plus, Silicon Valley still likes Musk. Many tech execs and VCs are applauding his Twitter takeover as a leading example of “bossism,” the belief that management has ceded too much power to workers and must take it back.
That’s good for Musk, seeing as he’s looking for investors as advertisers leave Twitter.
But… he also tweeted a poll on Sunday afternoon asking if he should step down as head of Twitter, promising to abide by the results.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less