With the pending purchase of Twitter, Elon Musk is aiming for his masterpiece as the network’s chief troll. As if out of nowhere, the second richest person in the world is now trying to present himself there in a deliberately casual manner. And that makes it look even more uncool.
It’s a bit like watching a gifted conductor at a concert. When tweeting, he teases a bit here, tickles the diaphragms of his followers there and suddenly hits the drums when a supposed opponent needs to be insulted. Always mindful of the maximum effect of the short messages. Musk’s skill at doing this is particularly noticeable when you compare him to less talented tweeters. Just like his competitor Jeff Bezos.
Since Musk announced almost out of nowhere that he would buy the short message service, his predecessor, the richest person in the world, has suddenly become considerably more active there. Apparently he also wants to grab some limelight for his self-portrayal. But with each of his tweets, Bezos proves, above all, that the easy balancing act between genius and madness that makes Musk so attractive to his fans is simply not in him.
Stiff PR instead of loose trolling
While Musk often goes too far, Bezos goes to the other extreme. Even when he’s apparently passionate about subjects, he manages to make them feel like detention. Would you like an example? “Slideshow presentations can hide flat thinking. Narratively structured notes are harder to write because they require better thinking. But it’s worth it,” he said four days ago about PowerPoint and Co. And probably brought a large part of his readers to fall asleep. They then missed the attempt to give Twitter one. “How do you edit a tweet, oh yes,” Bezos tried to tease after an error in the PowerPoint tweet because of the missing editing function. And only seemed stiffer.
Two days later, Musk showed how the attention game works on Twitter. After Musk announced that he would use his own team to find out the true number of bots on the platform, Parag Agrawal, who was still boss, explained in a thread why this could hardly be done without insider information. And was downgraded by Musk: Instead of a serious replica, the top troll and future owner only answered with a feces emoji. With twenty times the amount of likes of the original tweet.
What drives Bezos?
It is not known why Bezos suddenly rediscovered Twitter in early April after months of sporadic tweets. What is certain is that since Musk’s purchase efforts became known, he has suddenly become significantly more involved there again. Unlike the often silly Musk, however, Bezos tries to make a noticeable effort to be taken seriously there. Topics range from good management to the current financial policies of the Biden administration – which is a thorn in Bezos’ side. If you want it to be particularly relaxed, you might get a book recommendation or an (old) music quote.
It shouldn’t be a coincidence that Bezos is so different from Musk. In a tweet, he clearly distanced himself from Musk’s habit of attacking opponents with tough drums. To a tweet from blogger Tim Urban, in which he pointed out the difficulty of respecting truth, humility and one’s own thoughts in political discourse, Bezos responded: “I would add politeness. Insulting and attacking people is easy. But it makes it harder to work together.” The answers: A lot of jokes at Bezos’ expense.