Elon Musk can add a new title to his résumé: Wikipedia editor.

On Sunday, the Tesla and SpaceX chief tweeted that he had visited his Wikipedia page for the first time in years and felt that there were some inaccuracies. So, he called on the community to fix it for him. And, believe it or not, they did just that.

"Just looked at my wiki for 1st time in years. It's insane!" Musk tweeted. "Btw, can someone please delete 'investor.' I do basically zero investing."

Before long, some of his followers suggested that he actually was an investor, since he put his own money into Tesla and SpaceX. But he argued that because he "played [a] fundamental founding role," it wasn't a passive investment. Someone later asked if he would like the entry to replace investor with "business magnate." He laughed and said he would.

On Sunday night, the Wikipedia page was updated and the investor mention was replaced with business magnate. Since then, the business magnate title has been removed, but investor, which Musk really didn't want on his Wikipedia page, is gone.

It's a small thing, but an important one in a world where chief executives are extremely concerned about their public image and how that might impact their companies. For Musk, especially, public image matters a great deal. His personality, his commentary on Twitter, and, yes, even his missteps, have all in one way or another helped or hurt his companies' public image and value.

Of course, a Wikipedia page isn't the be all and end all for a public company chief executive, but it's rare that they'll publicly ask for edits. There are undoubtedly some folks who have teams of people who scour the internet to find inaccuracies about them, but none of them has been so public in seeking corrections as Musk. Most important, none of them has been able to so easily get their followers to make the changes they want so swiftly.

And perhaps that is the most important thing to come from Musk's Wikipedia page tweaking. With a simple tweet, he can get his legion of fans and followers to take action. That power of persuasion is as important on a Wikipedia page as it is in getting people to buy cars, try out a new pickup truck, or even hop a flight to Mars.

Published on: Dec 23, 2019
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