In a revelatory new book by Walter Isaacson, the renowned biographer of tech titan Elon Musk, it is disclosed that the billionaire entrepreneur’s foray into the world of Twitter and his subsequent actions were profoundly influenced by personal events in his life. The book, aptly titled “Elon Musk,” which has shared excerpts in The Wall Street Journal, unveils a significant turning point that led Musk to embrace right-wing politics and acquire the social media platform.
A Daughter’s Transition Sparks Transformation
The trigger for Elon Musk’s shift toward conservative ideologies can be traced back to a pivotal moment involving his daughter, Vivian Jenna Wilson. At the age of 16, Vivian came out as transgender to her aunt, setting in motion a series of events that would profoundly impact Musk’s worldview.
Blaming the Educational Environment
Musk’s concerns escalated when he believed that his daughter’s ideological transformation was the result of her education at the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in California, which he blamed for pushing her toward communism and fostering negative perceptions of wealth. He lamented that she had moved beyond socialism to embrace the belief that anyone affluent was inherently evil.
A Painful Rift
Musk has confessed that his estrangement from his daughter is one of the most emotionally agonizing experiences he has endured since the tragic loss of his first child to sudden infant death syndrome.
The Influence on Twitter
As Musk grappled with his daughter’s ideological transformation, he became convinced that a similar “woke” mindset had permeated Twitter, stifling right-wing and anti-establishment voices. This belief fueled his determination to take control of the platform.
Battling the “Woke Mind Virus”
Elon Musk’s mission to combat what he referred to as the “woke mind virus” that he perceived as fundamentally anti-science, anti-merit, and anti-human in nature became a driving force behind his Twitter takeover. He believed that unless this mindset was challenged, humanity’s aspiration to become a multi-planetary civilization would remain in jeopardy.
Restoring Banned Accounts
Upon gaining control of Twitter, Musk promptly reinstated the accounts of right-wing figures such as Donald Trump and Kanye West, signaling a significant shift in the platform’s approach to free speech.
The Path to Twitter Ownership
The book also provides insights into Musk’s journey to acquire Twitter. His initial interest in creating “X.com,” an all-encompassing application, eventually evolved into a desire to harness the full potential of Twitter. With the financial resources accrued from Tesla’s success and an expiring stock option worth $10 billion, Musk embarked on the path to acquiring Twitter.
Doubts and Determination
Although Musk initially had doubts about the acquisition, he pressed on, convinced of Twitter’s potential to serve as the platform X.com should have been. After discussions with Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal and contemplation about starting his own social media platform, Musk decided to acquire Twitter outright.
Closing the Deal
With the support of investors and ample funds, Musk’s plan to acquire Twitter was approved by the platform’s board in April 2022. Musk expressed his excitement at the prospect of implementing X.com’s vision through Twitter.
Challenges Along the Way
Despite his enthusiasm, challenges and doubts persisted, including concerns about Twitter’s user numbers and potential legal hurdles. Musk’s determination to address the platform’s issues and fulfill its potential ultimately led to the acquisition’s completion in October.
Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, as revealed in Walter Isaacson’s book, showcases the confluence of personal experiences and ideological convictions that led the tech mogul to reshape the social media landscape. His journey from skepticism to ownership reflects his unwavering commitment to addressing what he perceives as a “woke mind virus” while utilizing Twitter as a catalyst for change.