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Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2021. Photo by Bloomberg

Free Speech and the Cult of Elon: Why Musk Wants to Buy Twitter

Photo: Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2021. Photo by Bloomberg

Elon Musk’s $43 billion proposed takeover of Twitter is a grand gesture in favor of free speech and a statement of concern about censorship from social media platforms.

It’s also deeply personal.

As Musk has become the richest man in the world—overseeing $1 trillion–valuation Tesla, SpaceX and more—he has grown more concerned about his ability to have an online megaphone to vent his frustrations against his expanding legions of critics, say friends and people who work with him. As for so many other powerful figures, Twitter has become Musk’s primary pipeline to communicate with his diehard followers and the mainstream media. And Musk, concerned about Twitter’s future prospects and the company’s permanent removal of some prominent users over content violations, wants to make sure it survives.

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