Life comes at you fast. Six months ago, Elon Musk wrote, “For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally.”
On Monday morning, weeks after buying the platform for $44 billion, he shared a meme featuring a Nazi soldier and then told his 115 million followers to vote Republican in Tuesday’s midterms.
“To independent-minded voters: Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic,” he wrote.
Musk has faced criticism for firing roughly 50 percent of the company’s employees last week, including those responsible for monitoring disinformation days ahead of Election Day. The purge was likened by some critics to a Category 5 hurricane.
“Hardcore Democrats or Republicans never vote for the other side,” Musk added on Monday, “so independent voters are the ones who actually decide who’s in charge!”
The CEO’s tweet on voting red garnered over 43,000 retweets and nearly 180,000 likes a couple of hours after posting. His Nazi meme, which used a photo of a German Wehrmacht soldier with a cage of carrier pigeons during the Nazi invasion of France, had about 14,000 retweets in the three hours after it was posted.
Musk, who in late 2021 surpassed Jeff Bezos in wealth with a reported net worth of $219 billion, has had a rocky start in his latest tech foray, blaming a recent “massive drop in revenue” on “activist groups pressuring advertisers,” rather than his own antics.
At a campaign event in Chicago on Friday, President Joe Biden called out the site after Musk shared—then deleted—a baseless conspiracy theory about the attack on Paul Pelosi, calling Twitter “an outfit that spews lies all across the world.”
In an effort to change his fortune and turn a profit at the historically unprofitable social media platform, Musk has proposed a pay-to-play verification system and an end to permabans, including one on Donald Trump.
But the new plan didn’t stop the thin-skinned billionaire from suspending comedian Kathy Griffin on Monday after she changed the name on her profile to Musk’s and encouraged people to vote Democrat.
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” he tweeted.