Skip to content
Reviews |  How Elon Musk’s ‘soft power’ could shape the future of Twitter

On Monday, Elon Musk promoted himself from an avid Twitter user to a major player. Musk, the co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX, who has more than 80 million followers on the platform, now also owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him the company’s largest shareholder. And by the time the company announced its appointment to the board on Tuesday, the internet was already speculating about the kinds of changes Musk might influence. “He can make recommendations at board meetings, but what he really has is soft power,” tech reporter Casey Newton told Kara Swisher.

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

In this conversation, Kara and Newton discuss how Musk’s infamy will contribute to his Twitter presence. They discuss the possibility of an edit button on the site, as well as how Musk’s relationship with CEO Parag Agrawal and co-founder Jack Dorsey could affect the direction of the company. And they wonder if Musk will push Twitter to reformat Donald Trump.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available at noon on the Times website.)

Thoughts? Email us at

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Daphne Chen, Caitlin O’Keefe and Wyatt Orme, and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Kristina Samulewski.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.