Elon Musk: X tech tycoon reveals Twitter takeover was driven by 'woke mind virus' that caused rift between his daughter
Musk bought Twitter in April 2022 for $44 billion
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Elon Musk became "anti-woke" because of his daughter's transition, according to a new book about him.
Walter Isaacson, Musk's biographer, wrote in his book that the billionaire’s right-wing political leanings “were partly triggered” when his then-16-year-old child, Vivian Jenna Wilson, came out as transgender to her aunt.
The book, called Elon Musk – extracts of which were published in The Wall Street Journal - reveals Musk called his daughter a "Communist" after she was brainwashed into “thinking that anyone rich is evil” by her $50,000 (£39,500)-a-year school in California. Musk “partly” blames the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences for his daughter’s change in attitude towards him and said: "She went beyond socialism to being a full communist and thinking that anyone rich is evil”.
Musk said the split with his daughter is the most painful thing he has experienced since the death of his first child at 10 weeks old from sudden infant death syndrome.
According to the book, Musk initially embraced Jenna but became disillusioned with her liberal education, and believed the same mindset had overcome Twitter.
He believed Twitter had been infected with a mindset that suppressed right-wing and anti-establishment voices. His solution was to buy it.
“Unless the woke mind virus, which is fundamentally anti-science, anti-merit, and anti-human in general, is stopped, civilisation will never become multi-planetary,” Musk told Isaacson.
He then went on to reinstate previously banned accounts of Right-wing agitators including Donald Trump and Kanye West.
The excerpt gives details on how Musk bought Twitter, and how from the early days he wanted to create X.com, "an everything app".
Speaking recently, Musk said: “If you want to just be a niche player, PayPal is a better name, But if you want to take over the world’s financial system, then X is the better name.”
With the popularity of Tesla, and then $10bn cash in his pocket from expiring Tesla stock, Musk asked the “easy question” of what product he liked. “It was Twitter”, he said.
In January 2022 he told his personal business manager, Jared Birchall, to start buying shares.
By April, Musk said, “Twitter could become what X.com should have been, and we can help save free speech in the process.”
He met with then Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal where Musk was asked to join the board of Twitter - after a few days he declined the position.
After deliberating whether to start his own social media, Musk decided to buy the company outright.
After finding funds and investors, Musk eventually raised the cash, and his plans were accepted by the Twitter board at the end of April 2022.
“I am very excited about finally implementing X.com as it should have been done, using Twitter as an accelerant!” he texted.
But within days, doubts emerged.
“I will need to live at Twitter HQ. This is a super tough situation. Really bumming me out,” he told Walter Isaacson.
After his belief that Twitter had been lying about its number of users was reinforced by a whistleblower and others, he was convinced the $44bn offer was too high but was convinced by his lawyers he'd lose the court case.
Musk said: “The potential is so great. There are so many things I could fix.” The deal was closed in October.