Musk pits billionaires against politicians

The world’s richest man asked whether his followers trust government officials over the wealthy

Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked social media users whether they trust politicians over billionaires in a viral Twitter poll, drawing more than 1 million votes in a matter of hours, most voicing doubt in their elected representatives.

The tech entrepreneur – himself a billionaire who frequently trades places with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as world’s richest man – took to Twitter on Thursday night to pose the question to followers, asking “Who do you trust less?” while providing options for “politicians” and “billionaires.”

Who do you trust less? Real question.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2022

At the time of writing, the ad hoc poll had garnered more than 1.5 million votes and skewed heavily against the government, with a supermajority of 77% stating they trust their leaders less than the mega-rich. 

Musk, known for frequent Twitter antics and trollish posts, later prodded Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to create a similar poll, ‘daring’ her to ask her own followers the same question.

Despite the landslide results of Musk’s social media poll, however, many commenters expressed disdain for both political figures and billionaires, some arguing the two groups often work toward the same goals

“Trick question: the politicians are bought by and work for the rich. They’re synonymous,” wrote progressive activist Nina Turner, who served as a national co-chair for the 2020 Bernie Sanders campaign.

Musk has repeatedly grabbed headlines in recent weeks amid negotiations to purchase Twitter for $44 billion, though that deal recently hit roadblocks after the SpaceX founder raised concerns about the number of bots and spam accounts that comprise the platform’s total user base. While Twitter claimed that figure was less than 5% in a quarterly financial report issued last month, Musk has urged for a recount, and the site has since acknowledged its numbers have not been independently verified.


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