The world’s richest man has a new Twitter handle. Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk changed his display name on the micro-blog service to “Lorde Edge,” while his location is Trollheim. Despite the name change and seemingly fictional location, it has still remained a verified account. Musk currently has 62.8 million followers on Twitter.
The Tesla founder and SpaceX chief didn’t actually explain the reason for the recent name change, but it came after he tweeted out a poll on Saturday, where he asked his Twitter followers whether he should sell 10 percent of his stock in Tesla, as he would pay taxes on the gains. The poll closed on Sunday afternoon, with 57.9 percent of more than 3.5 million participants voting “yes,” while 42.1 percent voted “no.”
“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” Lorde Edge (@elonmusk) had tweeted.
Musk remains a vocal critic of a proposal tax on unrealized gains on publicly traded assets for some of the wealthiest Americans. Under a proposal by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, if such assets were to increase in value, even if those assets weren’t sold, the person owning them would have to pay taxes on the unrealized gains.
New Name – Same Elon?
Many on Twitter reacted not just to the poll and debated the tax implications, but also took note of Musk’s new “Lorde Edge” moniker.
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Shibetoshi Nakamoto (@BillyM2k), the co-creator of cryptocurrency Dogecoin, has his own theory, tweeting, “lorde edge is an anagram for elder doge.”
Others have speculated that Musk’s name change on Twitter is a precursor to a big announcement, but brand marketing expert and social media pundit Scott Steinberg said it could actually be a play on “edge-lord,” as in a person who affects a provocative or extreme persona.
“Musk has shown himself to be quite the Internet provocateur – and this just shows the sheer level of attention played to his ability to do the outrageous,” Steinberg explained. “This highlights the influence he commands, and he is clearly having fun with it. He seems to have fun pushing buttons.”
“Elon Musk changing his Twitter display name to ‘Lorde Edge’ is so on the nose it’s painful,” suggested cybersecurity researcher and journalist Sean Gallagher (@thepacketrat).
The Name Game
This was not the first time that the 50-year-old has changed his name on Twitter. In June, he had changed his Twitter name to “Elon Musk, the 2nd.” Previoulsy his name was changed to just “-1.”
Where things could be complicated now is that there is actually a Twitter user @LordeEdge, who joined in May 2017. The individual has just 16 followers, but that number is likely to increase perhaps from the confusion that the account could be that of Musk.
Last year it wasn’t Musk’s handle that raised eyebrows with an odd choice of names. He and then-girlfriend, singer Grimes (real name Claire Boucher), named their son “X Æ A-12,” in reference to an aircraft built for the CIA in the 1960s. Grimes (@Grimezsz), explained the naming choice via a tweet, “•X, the unknown variable.”
•Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)
•A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent.
• (A=Archangel, my favorite song)”
The recent name change to Lorde Edge also highlights how the moves of the rich and famous – and Musk falls into categories – are so closely monitored on social media, while Musk shows his ability to control the narrative in a way that others could not hope to do.
“He has seen the upsides and downsides of social media,” said Steinberg. “He knows that every move he makes will be scrutinized, but he delights in the attention and the controversy it creates. He is clearly interested in pushing the bounds even further.”