DUBAI: Eccentric entrepreneur, random tweeter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk this week bought his favorite social media platform, Twitter, for $44 billion — an amount approximately the equivalent of the gross domestic product of Jordan.
Musk’s ambition to “save” Twitter and, as he sees it, free speech, has given hope to some Lebanese people who are asking Musk to now consider buying their country.
If Musk can revolutionize the electric-car industry and attempt to shake up social media, he’s surely capable of saving Lebanon, they argue. Even if he cannot and utterly fails in the attempt, as some commentators predict will be the case with Twitter, many in Lebanon query whether the situation in their country could get any worse.
Some critics suggest that Musk is impulsive and brash and bought Twitter on a whim. That is simply not true; the move was very much premeditated. In fact, he had been contemplating it to some degree for more than four years.
In December 2017, he took to Twitter to share his love for the platform and when a user suggested he buy it, he asked how much it would cost. This month, Musk decided to make his move with little concern about whether the platform was for sale or not.
In February, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation posted a message on Twitter asking Musk to make his satellite internet system, Starlink, available in Ukraine. Musk replied within 24 hours: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”
It remains to be seen whether and how he will respond to the requests from some Lebanese people that he buy their country.