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The Lost Tycoon: Elon Musk rolls a big one for free speech

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The Lost Tycoon: Elon Musk rolls a big one for free speech

Is the new owner of Twitter really the right person to entrust with something as important as freedom of speech?

Columnist

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger, a white South African male from Pretoria sticks his head above the clouds of social-media deception and delirium to declare he is the new messiah, bearing the gift of freedom of speech. But nothing is quite as it seems, and who can claim to know what really goes on in the fertile yet unexplored vastness that occupies the space between the ears of Elon Reeve Musk?

Long ago already he earned his place on the glittering motherboard of up-yours tech titans when he too dropped out of a university, says Wikipedia, leaving Tukkies after a few uneventful months and heading to the US to avoid conscription and study. Since then it’s been all upwards for Musk, the only person on Earth who can say with a straight face that “direct democracy’’ would be the best form of government on Mars.

Musk, as we’re told repeatedly, is the richest person in the world, with a fortune estimated at, and you can fill in the blank here because when you’re talking as much as he has figures hardly matter. He’s also very clever, a practical savant and, crucially, a media mega-phenomenon, the world’s most famous high roller, a Howard Hughes for our time. And he never lets his money do the talking...

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