As Mr Musk gears up to take control of America’s most hotly debated social-media platform, The Independent has listed the billionaire’s most popular and controversial tweets from his 12 years and 10 months on the site, featuring Covid-19, the climate crisis and more:
10. ‘Biden is a damp puppet in human form’
Taking aim at US President Joe Biden for apparently failing to mention Tesla in a set of remarks about car manufacturing in the US, Mr Musk took to Twitter earlier in 2022 to lambast the Democrat in multiple tweets.
One of those, in which Mr Biden was called a “a damp puppet in human form”, was followed by another tweet in which Mr Musk spelled-out the name of his firm and wrote: “Starts with a T Ends with an A ESL in the middle”.
While it was not clear whose “sock puppet” Mr Biden allegedly was, his tweet attacking the president earned him 56,000 likes.
9. Musk considers becoming an influencer
Although estimated to be the world’s richest man, Mr Musk told his millions of Twitter followers in December 2021 that he was “thinking of quitting my jobs & becoming an influencer full-time wdyt (what do you think?).
thinking of quitting my jobs & becoming an influencer full-time wdyt
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 10, 2021
While clearly a joke, the Tesla founder’s comments sparked theories about his plans – including the establishment of a colony on Mars within 10 years – and whether he would see them through. Thanks to his reported takeover-bid of Twitter, he will have more influence than many.
8. ‘Pronouns suck’
Not one to avoid controversies, Mr Musk tweeted in July 2020 that “pronouns suck” – in an apparent attack on the use of pronouns by members of the LGBT+ community and others, and again attacked the use of pronouns in December 2020.
His comments, which some argued were transphobic, were widely condemned and forced Tesla’s founder to note that his company was number one for LGBT+ employees on the Corporate Equality Index, as CNBC News reported.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2020
“I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare,” he said in one of the tweets, which were followed by a swathe of anti-trans and anti-LGBT+ bills introduced by state level Republicans in the US between 2021 and 2022.
7. ‘on a porcelain throne’
Mr Musk potentially earned legions of fans of social media – and disgusted many others – after admitting that almost half of his tweets were composed while he sits on the toilet.
At least 50% of my tweets were made on a porcelain throne
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2021
He wrote in November 2021: “At least 50% of my tweets were made on a porcelain throne...It gives me solace”. More than 260,000 Twitter users seemed to agree, and liked his tweet. Whether or not that will be possible on his planned Mars colony remains to be seen however.
6. His Shiba Inu...
Mr Musk followed-up on his tweets about the cryptocurrency Dogecoin – a favourite internet currency of the world’s richest person and alleged imitation of the Shiba Inu currency – by buying a real-life Shiba Inu, a Japanese hunting dog, in September 2021.
Months later, Mr Musk tweeted a picture of his Shiba Inu (the dog, not the cryptocurrency), wishing his followers a happy easter. Moore than 580,000 favourited the tweet.
5. Another tweet about buying Twitter...
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” wrote Mr Musk on Monday as news of his negotiations with the company’s board broke.
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
It comes amid concerns from some about his ability to allow banned users such as Donald Trump, who was removed permanently by Twitter for citing election lies before 6 January 2021, and outspoken congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, if he does take control of the site.
Mr Musk – whose wealth is estimated to be almost $259bn – is one of the most followed people on the site. That is after Katy Perry (108.9m followers), Justin Bieber (114.3m) and former US president Barack Obama (131.7m).
4. ‘We will defeat the spam bots or die trying!’
Earlier in his bid to buy Twitter for billions of dollars, Mr Musk told his 83.3m followers that he will “defeat the spam bots” and “authenticate all real humans” if his efforts proved successful.
While it was unclear if his promises were real or not, the SpaceX founder has likewise called for Twitter to “to be transformed as a private company” in order to build trust with users and do better at serving what he calls the “societal imperative” of free speech.
If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2022
He wrote: “If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!” The tweet earned him nearly 800,000 likes and days later, a deal that could be completed to take over the company.
3. ‘Elon Musk buys Fortnite and deletes it’
In October 2018 he alarmed fans of the game Fortnite after he tweeted a photoshopped image of a news article saying he had bought the title to apparently rescue players from being “eternal virgins”.
He tweeted “Had to be done ur welcome,” along with the fake news article and headline: “Elon Musk buys Fortnite and deletes it”.
The tweet attracted some 1.1m likes and sparked further outrage among fans of Fortnite, as well as its developers, Epic, who ridiculed Telsa’s founder for wanting to build a colony on Mars.
2. ‘in case u need to lose a boner fast’
Taking his long-running feud with Microsoft’s founder to new lows on Saturday, Mr Musk tweeted a picture of the 66-year-old philanthropist along with an emoji of a pregnant man – apparently for comparison, and with the words: “in case u need to lose a boner fast”.
in case u need to lose a boner fast pic.twitter.com/fcHiaXKCJi
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2022
The tweet earned him 1.1m likes in 48 hours, and followed the Tesla mogul’s apparent confirmation that leaked screenshots of a conversation between himself and Gates were, in fact, authentic.
The screenshots revealed an alleged conversation between the pair in which Mr Musk said he refused to meet with Gates for having bet against his electric vehicle firm, Tesla. The feud will likely continue.
1. ‘The coronavirus panic is dumb’
No doubt voicing frustrations of his own as well as his followers and humankind, Mr Musk tweeted in March 2020 that the Covid-19 pandemic was “dumb”. The simple message was liked by 1.5m users, making it his most favourited contribution on the site.
The coronavirus panic is dumb
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2020
While the US had reported as few as three deaths at the time of the Tesla founder’s tweet, the country has since gone onto record 990,000 from the virus – and counting.
He also attracted criticism well into the pandemic for comments about how Covid deaths were recorded in the US, and in response to lockdown-style restrictions wrote: “Yes, reopen with care & appropriate protection, but don’t put everyone under de facto house arrest”.