Elon Musk: tech visionary turns social media king

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Sometimes it feels like it’s Elon Musk’s world and we just live in it. The endlessly innovative, endlessly eccentric billionaire has struck a deal to buy Twitter — giving him control of the social media network on which the world debates, mobilizes and bickers.

It is just the latest conquest for Musk, who has revolutionized the car industry, sent his own rocket to space, built the world’s biggest fortune — and created fountains of moral outrage and celebrity gossip along the way.

Musk, 50, last year became the world’s richest person — taking the title from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — following the meteoric rise of Tesla, his electric automaker founded in 2003.

His takeover of Twitter caps a rollercoaster of announcements and counter-announcements — which he characteristically punctuated by gleefully firing jabs at the company on its own platform.

And Musk’s new guise as a social media overlord will fuel controversy over his political views, business methods and outsized personality.

He is libertarian, anti-woke, impulsive and promotes himself as a champion of free speech. Some would call him right-wing, while his critics accuse him of being autocratic and bullying.

All this has come in a month in which Musk also made headlines with Tesla opening a “gigafactory” in Texas, after the company left California following a dispute over his efforts to defy a state shutdown of his plant to stop the spread of Covid-19.

And there’s more — his space transport firm SpaceX is currently breaking yet another boundary as a partner in a three-way venture that sent the first fully private mission to the International Space Station.

But Musk also makes news of a less flattering kind: Tesla has faced a series of lawsuits alleging discrimination and harassment against Black workers as well as sexual harassment.

In parallel with the whiplash-inducing stream of business news, Musk’s penchant for living by his own rules in the private sphere also keeps the world wide-eyed.

It recently emerged Musk has had a second child with his on-again off-again partner, the musician Grimes: a girl they named Exa Dark Siderael Musk — although the parents will mostly call her Y.

He is even expected to make an appearance — in person or not — at the ongoing celebrity defamation trial pitting Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard, who formerly dated Musk.

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