Meanwhile, Musk uses his Twitter account, where he has more than 80 million followers and a fan base he can ignite, to publicly mock others, from a local health official during the early days of the pandemic to Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s current chief executive officer.
Musk defined the goal for Twitter at a TED event last week: “A good sign as to whether there is free speech is: Is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like? If that is the case, then we have free speech.”
But those who have said things Musk didn’t like have seen their reputations publicly trashed. Vernon Unsworth, a British caver who helped rescue 12 boys trapped in Thailand, called Musk’s efforts to help a “PR stunt” in 2018. Musk retaliated by calling him a “pedo guy.” Then he paid $50,000 to a dubious private investigator to dig into Unsworth’s background in the U.K. and Thailand. He also attempted to depose a reporter, Ryan Mac, who was covering Unsworth’s defamation lawsuit against Musk.
As I said before, I doubt the sincerity of Musk’s intent.