Elon Musk’s Vision for Twitter Should Scare the Hell Out of You

An unmoderated free-for-all is an invitation to bullies, bigots, and trolls that will further toxify social discourse

Tim Wise
6 min readApr 16, 2022


Elon Musk, Image by DonkeyHotey, Flickr, Creative Commons license, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and poster child for narcissism, is looking to buy Twitter.

Not just the 9 percent of shares he purchased last week, but the whole thing.

First, because as the world’s richest man, he can do things like that, and as a gigantic asshole (which comes with both the narcissism and the money), he figures why not?

Companies and other people are playthings to him.

So much so that his threat to buy Twitter might be little more than a PR ruse he thought up while staying awake for days at a time, as he’s rumored to do.

He gets off fucking with people this way.

It doesn’t matter to him if his words tank a company’s stock, boost it unrealistically, or lead investors astray.

It’s all for the lulz once you have billions to play with.

Some years ago, Musk started believing his press and the adoring puffery of online acolytes — like whatever idiot first likened him to Tony Stark — and it’s all been downhill from there.

It’s not like it wasn’t predictable.

Any guy who advances or indulges the notion that he built his empire based solely on genius and hard work, conveniently overlooking that he was born white in South Africa during apartheid, is pretty much telling you he’s a dick who’s going to do dick things.

He makes self-driving cars that don’t work (unless the goal is to get people injured or killed), regular cars that sorta suck considering how much they cost, and he treats people like shit.

He forced employees back to work in the middle of a pandemic, causing hundreds of them to contract COVID.

He refuses to designate hazardous areas in his plant with industry-standard yellow markings because he doesn’t like the color yellow. And, surprise, surprise, when he’s not fudging the numbers, Tesla regularly has higher injury rates than other automakers.



Tim Wise

Anti-racism educator and author of 9 books, including White Like Me and, most recently, Dispatches from the Race War (City Lights, December 2020)