Elon’s Twitter Plans & Oz’s Romney Resurrection

joe lonsdale and elon musk
The Musk emails and texts have made a couple of things clear about the billionaire’s increasingly reckless and over-expensive attempt to colonize Twitter. Photo-Illustration: Puck; Photos: Brian Ach/Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
October 12, 2022

I was poring over the 33 pages of Elon Musk’s texts, recently disclosed in court filings submitted in his now possibly defunct Twitter litigation, when I stumbled across an intriguing exchange. An unidentified person, their name redacted by the court, had sent Musk an article hypothesizing the potential backlash to him owning Twitter, and offering suggestions about how to manage the re-platforming of certain banned right-wing power users, including “the boss”—codename among Trump’s underlings for the big man, himself. 

The link to the article wasn’t included in the exchange, but it was simple enough to uncover its origin on the far-right website Revolver News. The piece heralded Musk’s potential acquisition as “nothing less than a declaration of war against the Globalist American Empire” and went on to describe Twitter as a platform controlled by “America’s decrepit and illegitimate ruling class” to promote its liberal agenda on everything from transgender people to the war in Ukraine. 

It is unclear how Musk responded to this person, if he did so at all. The contents of the article, after all, are pretty edgy, even for Musk, a self-described “edge-lord” whose politics have drifted steadily rightward in the post-Obama era. But it’s representative of the broader intellectual pressure campaign by major conservative business leaders, personalities, donors, and politicians to shape Musk’s thinking about free speech and his moderation policies on Twitter.