Elon Musk joined his favourite social-media platform on June 4, 2010, with a vow of authenticity: “Please forget about prior tweets, as that was once anyone pretending to be me 🙂 That is if truth be told me.” Then he didn’t tweet once more for 18 months. Sooner or later round 2012 or 2013, regardless that, he stuck the computer virus, and because then he’s tweeted from @ElonMusk just about 19,000 occasions, collecting 103 million fans and, relying on Tesla’s present buying and selling worth, greater than $200 billion in web price. To the offline global, Musk has remodeled himself from a unusual South African tech entrepreneur into in all probability the sector’s wealthiest guy, a polymath CEO juggling a couple of bold start-ups, with a impulsively multiplying circle of relatives. (As of press time, Musk had 9 kids, together with 3 via two other girls over a six-week span ultimate fall.) On Twitter, regardless that, @ElonMusk has been just about the similar man all alongside. Like he promised in that first actual tweet, that is if truth be told him.

It’s onerous to think about some other billionaire, actually, who has shared extra about who he in point of fact is than Elon Musk. All the ones random knowledge issues turn out to be pointillism as soon as your tweet rely hits 5 figures. The want for him to stay a caricature supervillain, or a huckster peddling monorails to Springfield, is going up in smoke. He’s each! And so a lot more! If you wish to know who Elon Musk in point of fact is, he’s been baring his soul, one tweet at a time and steadily from the bathroom, beneath the nom de plume @ElonMusk for greater than a decade. Except you’re employed for the Securities and Trade Fee, regardless that, you’d should be some roughly masochist to learn they all.

Once in a while, when a creator accepts an project, they’ll understand inside mins that their enthusiasm was once ill-considered and so they’ve made a horrible mistake. In my zeal to be told what the gathered works of @ElonMusk would possibly expose about the actual Elon Musk, I didn’t imagine what could be required to meet it: I’d need to learn all 19,000 tweets, each unmarried one, and stay on studying in genuine time, as @ElonMusk saved on tweeting a dozen or extra occasions an afternoon and I started to style true Sisyphean depression. It took me about 3 weeks to catch as much as present-day @ElonMusk, and most effective due to the miracle of PolitiTweet.org, which tracks greater than one thousand public figures and homes an archive of @ElonMusk’s complete Twitter historical past, together with those he deleted.

A an important factor to find out about @ElonMusk is that a standard consumer may just observe him for months, seeing tweets right here and there, and are available away satisfied that the feed is not anything greater than a subtle AI customer-service bot. The edgelord @ElonMusk who’s been inescapable those previous few months is only one face of the 20-sided die — it’s Musk when he’s feeling puckish, or surly, or when he’s pooping. He’s additionally a middle-aged dad with a dad bod and dad jokes for days, and a youngster coder bro who nonetheless thinks 69 and 420 are hilarious. He does no longer undergo fools — a idiot being someone who disagrees with him — and he turns out to really feel no duty for the offended Twitter lots he unleashes on atypical individuals who elevate his ire. If that is your most well-liked portrait of @ElonMusk — the egoist who turns out like he’s bucking for a featured talking slot at a males’s-rights conference — the proof is considerable.

However you then’d additionally need to reckon with rankings of inconvenient truths about his exact ideals. His fortify for a common elementary source of revenue. A carbon-emissions tax. Electrical automobiles, solar energy, 0 fossil fuels. Decriminalization of marijuana. Wi-fi web for deficient and low-density populations. Federal legislation of anything else that poses a risk to the general public, from attack guns to synthetic intelligence. Wouldn’t it wonder you to listen to that @ElonMusk has been pleading for the U.S. govt to keep watch over AI for so long as he’s been on Twitter? And the sheer creativeness of @ElonMusk’s fears are, in a phrase, marvelous: “Consider giving complex AI to a rest room with an implicit ‘maximize ’ software serve as, so it engages in deep societal manipulation simply to get most.” No longer T-1000. No longer Skynet. What assists in keeping @ElonMusk up at evening are bogs that trick you into consuming so much so that you’ll shit extra — a actually bipartisan paranoia.

Musk likes to mention that he runs his firms via really feel, intuition, making it up as he is going alongside, and whilst tactically talking that may well be true, a decade’s price of his tweets inform an excessively other tale. Because the early days of Tesla, SpaceX, and @ElonMusk, he’s been unswervingly constant about his three-part core technique, which he and his acolytes check with as “the Venture”: finishing the sector’s dependence on fossil fuels, making humankind a multi-planetary species, and increasing the sunshine of human awareness ever deeper into the long run. Musk’s empire-building has at all times been practical. He doesn’t purchase firms to turn them for a benefit. He buys them as a result of they are compatible the Venture.

Purchasing Twitter, due to this fact, represents his first severe deviation from the Venture but, and it’s a doozy. It received’t assist us do away with fossil fuels or get to Mars, and if anything else, Twitter discourse is what’s left when the sunshine of human awareness is going out. You’ll be able to scour all 19,000 tweets from @ElonMusk, however you received’t discover a unmarried logical reason for it, and that’s as a result of there isn’t one. To make sense of it, it’s a must to learn between the tweets and peer into @ElonMusk’s middle.

On November 15, 2017, @ElonMusk gave a unprecedented stamp of approval to {a magazine} profile about him, retweeting a Rolling Stone duvet tale, titled “The Architect of The next day,” through which he shared that he can’t be at liberty except he’s in love. This can be a helpful perception, as a result of if there’s a unmarried company conclusion to be drawn from the soup-to-nuts @ElonMusk, it’s that, holy shit, does Elon Musk love Twitter. Certain, he loves the alternate of concepts and the international the city sq., and he loves the direct human touch that calls for no exact human touch. He loves having the ability to survey his fans for cheese suggestions and getting 98,000 replies. However what in point of fact will get his dopamine pumping is the violence, the coliseum, and the lustful roar of the gang. The trolling and the flaming — what Jon Stewart not too long ago known as the platform’s “arson economic system.” “On Twitter,” @ElonMusk rhapsodized the next yr, “likes are uncommon & complaint is brutal. So hardcore. It’s nice.”

In that very same Rolling Stone article, he advised the mag that he hates being on my own in mattress at evening. With Twitter via his facet, he by no means must be.

Simply have a look at Musk’s romantic historical past — Twitter is so his kind. Infatuating, tempestuous. A relentless curler coaster. He dated Amber Heard. This was once put up–Johnny Depp, and she or he broke his middle. The British actress Talulah Riley, his 2nd spouse, and in addition his 3rd spouse — they divorced, then in short remarried — is perfect identified for taking part in a killer sex-bot on Westworld. He met Grimes, the avant-garde pop superstar and the mummy to 2 of his kids, on Twitter. He was once about to tweet one in every of his dorky science-fiction puns when he found out that Grimes, a closet dork herself, had crushed him to the pun. When he introduced his bid this spring to shop for the platform, regardless that, Musk was once newly unmarried once more and tweeting a few dozen occasions according to day. Looking back, it sort of feels like foreplay. And certainly, in keeping with @ElonMusk, it’s the one motion he’s gotten in a very long time.

One explanation why Musk loves Twitter such a lot is that for goodbye Twitter liked him appropriate again. All the way through his early years at the platform, Musk was once nonetheless viewed one of the most excellent guys in lots of corners of the media, and particularly on blue-check Twitter, the place his gutsy bets on loopy start-ups had already made him a cult determine. That was once a special time. Sheryl Sandberg was once leaning in, no longer taking bullets for Zuck. Social media was once rotting our brains — that a lot had transform obtrusive — but it surely wasn’t the enemy of democracy but. Musk was once wealthy however no longer but Bezos wealthy, then like a nutter he plowed it into his personal R&D. After all other folks fell for him. He was once playful and selfconscious and subversive and extraordinarily on-line, he blended in any respect hours with hoi polloi, and he was once roasting all of the appropriate goals. He even snacked at the similar popular culture. How may just you hate anyone who loves Nathan for You? Breaking Unhealthy? Even his embarrassing-dad moments might be endearing (“@KiannaFierce Oh, I like lure. Excellent tips welcome!”) as a result of embarrassing dads are endearing. He was once a laugh, particularly in comparison to Invoice Gates or, worse, Jeff Bezos, who has a real supervillain snort. (Pay attention — see?)

Perhaps it’s unfair to mention that Twitter is how Musk interacts with the outdoor global, however it may well’t be too a ways off. He believes converting the sector calls for, at minimal, an 80-hour workweek, and if he’s no longer at SpaceX or one in every of his Tesla factories, or house together with his children, he’s on a non-public jet shuttling backward and forward. He’s an autodidact, so the legend is going, and much more spectacular than studying methods to construct rockets via studying previous Soviet Soyuz manuals is the way in which he taught himself methods to be in point of fact excellent at Twitter. It’s a lot tougher than astrophysics. Like the remainder of us, @ElonMusk crawled in the beginning, sharing guide suggestions and the like. Then his dependancy to technique video games took over, and by the point he was once tweeting about taking Tesla non-public at $420 according to percentage, it was once undeniable that he was once treating the platform love it was once real-life Struggle of Polytopia. Flirting with securities fraud in wide sunlight is like writing a guide with an elaborate homicide plot after which sporting it out in genuine existence. The alibi is baked in.

Musk doesn’t use Twitter. He performs it. His dealing with of the Might 19 article via Trade Insider revealing that SpaceX paid a flight attendant on his non-public jet $250,000 to settle a sexual-misconduct lawsuit must be considered via this prism. The day prior to it dropped, @ElonMusk tweeted that “political assaults on me will escalate dramatically in coming months,” then when the tale was once printed, his dependable military of Muskovites reacted like he was once a soothsayer. His balloting historical past, in the meantime — a lifelong ballot-line average Democrat, he claims, till backing a Republican this summer time for an open Texas congressional seat — means that his Twitter bromance with Florida’s belligerent right-wing governor, Ron DeSantis, is essentially about bringing Democrats to heel. He’s already were given 2024 presidential flirt Pete Buttigieg buttering him up, and don’t suppose Musk hasn’t spotted. If Republicans in point of fact suppose he’s becoming a member of their membership for anything else greater than an election cycle, smartly, he received’t be the primary wealthy grifter to con the GOP.

Taking part in Twitter is unfastened, regardless that. Purchasing it’s dear, possibly indefensibly so for a man already working a couple of firms — the rapacious entrepreneur’s model of a midlife disaster, a quick bike begging to be crashed. Musk just about died on a motorbike when he was once 17, which is why he says there’ll by no means be a Tesla bike on his watch. However that thirst for risk doesn’t pass away simply since you swear off motorcycles. And not anything pushes us to take crazier dangers than love.

Elon Musk was once in love on Twitter, as soon as. “I might say,” he declared on August 22, 2017, “that @TheOnion is the best e-newsletter within the historical past of all aware beings, residing or lifeless.” Except the professional handles of the firms he owns, Musk’s lifetime No. 1 retweet, via leaps and limits, is indisputably @TheOnion. It was once one in every of @ElonMusk’s first actual follows on Twitter, actually, all of the long ago within the early 2010s. However @ElonMusk does no longer observe @TheOnion anymore.

The affair started to destroy within the spring of 2018, when The Onion made a laugh of Musk for the primary time: “Elon Musk Embarrassed After Knowing He Proposed Thought for Factor That Already Exists.” The sector was once in a dour position. Trump wasn’t going away. Billionaire was once hardening into an epithet. Musk took the funny story as a praise, regardless that. His ego can’t be pierced via an innovation burn. Two years later, The Onion went after him once more (“Country’s CEOs Signal Pledge to Proceed Fucking Over American citizens”), and one day that summer time, @ElonMusk unfollowed the best e-newsletter within the historical past of all aware beings. Then, in a clear and albeit pitiful try to make The Onion jealous, he started flirt-tweeting with @TheBabylonBee, the objectively horrible right-wing resolution to his estranged cherished.

“@TheOnion Have you ever learn @TheBabylonBee?” @ElonMusk tweeted on February 6, 2021. “It’s nice!!”

Then, nuclear struggle. March 22, 2021: The Onion printed a piece of writing titled “The Richest Individual in Each State and How They Made Their Cash.” Musk received the glory for Texas, and in keeping with The Onion, he made his cash via “Apartheid.” “Disgrace on you, Onion,” @ElonMusk lashed again. “Because of this individuals are switching to @TheBabylonBee!”

Musk’s outburst was once the fruits of a leitmotif working via @ElonMusk’s Twitter historical past, which is his dawning sense that some odious lies about his biography are hardening into permitted details. It in point of fact is unconscionable what number of blue-check Twitter accounts have repeated the smear that he introduced his companies with blood cash from his apartheid-loving father’s emerald mines. No longer a phrase of that is true. However the reality isn’t so useful, both. Simply ultimate month, Errol, 76, attempted to most sensible Elon’s child spree via saying, with icky inexplicable satisfaction, that 3 years previous he’d knocked up his 35-year-old followed stepdaughter, Jana, with their 2nd kid. (Jana was once 4 when her mom married Errol.) Because it occurs, Musk despises his father — @ElonMusk has been brutally transparent about that — however their shared affection for spawning positive feels just like the definition of “like father, like son.” “The one factor we’re on Earth for is to breed,” Errol boasted to The Solar, sounding an terrible lot like Elon, who’d been ranting on Twitter for years about inhabitants decline prior to any folks learned that he meant to unravel the issue via himself.

Now his falling out with The Onion is repeating itself on a grand scale with complete swaths of Twitter. Such a lot of his rage at innovative Twitter springs from its refusal to look what turns out obtrusive to him: Sure, he’s a billionaire, however don’t you notice he’s no longer one in every of the ones billionaires? He’s no longer Bezos, bullying cities to knock down bridges so he can park his yacht and ferrying his pals to area on his penis rocket. (@ElonMusk, Might 9, 2019: “@jeffbezos Placing the phrase ‘blue’ on a ball is questionable branding.”) In the meantime the libs proceed to get snowed via Invoice Gates. (Might 27, 2022: “Since Gates nonetheless has a multi-billion greenback quick place in opposition to Tesla whilst claiming to assist with international warming, I assume I’ve some consider problems with him too.”) A surefire method to galvanize @ElonMusk is to lump him in with the ones guys and disregard to place an asterisk.

@ElonMusk isn’t unaware that he is usually a royal dick, however he doesn’t grab the price to him, the consider he’s eroded, the excellent will he’s squandered. Like Dave Chappelle and J.Okay. Rowling, his addiction of punching down makes even ideological allies doubt his motives. How do we all know this isn’t the early levels of a heel flip?

His ongoing struggle with what he calls “the woke thoughts virus” is rooted in his conviction that its innovative practitioners are all frauds, that they’re disaster actors and distinctive feature signalers who don’t do anything else to unravel genuine issues and who resent the individuals who do. (March 13, 2021: “Woketopia. Struggle for the Ethical Prime Flooring on this new sport!” April 19, 2022: “The woke thoughts virus is making Netflix unwatchable.” Might 18, 2022: “Yale is the epicenter of the woke thoughts virus making an attempt to smash civilization.”) Like his good friend and fellow Texas transplant Joe Rogan, @ElonMusk is a free-speech absolutist. So what if he unleashes a gnashing on-line horde each time he places anyone on tweet blast? Is it his fault that each one of his assaults are via definition disproportionate? What’s he intended to do? No longer tweet?

All over @ElonMusk’s late-stage marketing campaign on Twitter to show all of the bots and faux accounts he already knew about, there’s been a obscure tone of a person who’s starting to really feel betrayed. He sounds wounded. He’s behaving like a elementary bro looking to trojan horse out of a dating and blaming it on his lame female friend. This was once sure to finish with a bonfire, regardless that, appropriate? In fact, no. We would possibly suppose we all know the place his tryst with Twitter is headed, however no less than in Musk’s love existence, his relationships have a tendency to not combust. He and Riley stay shut. He has not anything however pretty issues to tweet about Amber Heard. Grimes temporarily moved onto  a brand new female friend, however she nonetheless calls Musk her perfect pal.

“Ya know,” @ElonMusk wrote on Might 26, “it’s beautiful rattling nice as a way to communicate to other folks from all walks of existence and lots of international locations on Twitter! Such a lot to be discovered, even from the cruelest critics. Principally … I’m simply announcing I like all you loopy other folks [two heart emoji].” It gave the impression of reconciliation, but it surely is also an admission that they’re at an advantage as excellent pals and coffee fanatics. Both means, whether or not he finally ends up purchasing it or no longer, Twitter could have @ElonMusk’s [heart emoji] eternally.

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