Twitter takeover: Can we trust Elon Musk with the ‘closest thing we have to a global consciousness’?

If the tycoon sets the social media platform on an anything-goes path of free speech absolutism, he will quickly run up against stringent new European laws which were agreed last weekend

Elon Musk: the Tesla chief executive and new owner of social media platform Twitter: critics believe that Musk is driven by an ideological fervour to remove any limits on expression on Twitter

“Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in,” Elon Musk tweeted last Wednesday, during a week of provocations about his plans for Twitter.

Since the world’s richest person had his $44 billion bid for the social media platform accepted last Monday, he has been engaged in a back-and-forth with critics, supporters and regulators.

A self-described “free speech absolutist” who has bemoaned Twitter’s efforts to remove false and offensive material as a practice which ...