With the close of his Twitter deal, Elon Musk’s geopolitical influence is set to grow.

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In the past four weeks, Elon Musk has offered a peace plan for Russia and Ukraine that outraged Ukrainian officials. He has posted a tweet about Iranian internet access that exposed government protesters to a phishing scheme. He has also suggested in a newspaper interview that China could be appeased if it were given partial control of Taiwan. An official in Taipei demanded that he retract his suggestion.

Mr. Musk has in recent months emerged as a new, chaotic actor on the stage of global politics. While plenty of billionaire executives like to tweet their two cents on world affairs, none can come close to Mr. Musk’s influence and ability to cause trouble. He has sometimes waded into situations even after he was advised not to, and has already left behind plenty of messes.

While the bulk of Mr. Musk’s wealth comes from his stake in his electric car company, Tesla, his influence stems largely from his rocket company, SpaceX, which runs the Starlink satellite network. Starlink can beam internet service to conflict zones and geopolitical hot spots, and it has become an essential tool of the Ukrainian army.

Mr. Musk’s influence will grow with the close of the deal to buy Twitter. He has called himself a free speech absolutist, and he is expected to take a light touch to moderating Twitter’s content.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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