Elon Musk, One of Twitter’s Most Irresponsible Users, Is Now Its Largest Shareholder

The move might be good for business. But for everything else, it’s a pretty bad omen.

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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.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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