The Banal Reality of Elon Musk
What Twitter Blue is telling us
Elon Musk, Elon Musk—not since Donald Trump burst, again, into the popular consciousness in 2016, has a man been talked about so much in America. Liberals now revile Musk, the Tesla and Twitter owner, because he has revealed himself to be more than the centrist Democrat he playacted as in the Obama years. He’s now right-leaning, right-coded, right-curious, the consummate troll, the guy who can earnestly tweet about the “woke mind virus.” He’s unchained the right-wing accounts, freed Trump himself from Twitter jail, and seemed to delight, more than anything else, in sowing chaos at his own company.
I’ve long argued that it’s best to think less about Musk, that there are far more nefarious billionaires in the United States. Musk’s stewardship of Twitter, a popular social media platform that still has a fraction of Facebooks’ market share, is worth scrutiny, but not the delirium generated among educated liberals. Consider his ultimate gambit, Twitter Blue: an $8 a month service that lets you edit tweets, write longer tweets, post longer videos, and “rocket” to the top of replies, mentions and search. For status, you’ll also be bestowed a blue checkmark, which used to be reserved only for those who were, in Twitter’s view, at risk of impersonation. Starting this month, those who have blue checkmarks already, like me, will lose them unless they pay.