Former featured article candidateElon Musk is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Good articleElon Musk has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Did You Know Article milestones
DateProcessResult
June 4, 2021Good article nomineeListed
July 24, 2021Peer reviewNot reviewed
August 23, 2022Featured article candidateNot promoted
November 1, 2022Good article reassessmentKept
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on June 15, 2021.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that Elon Musk lost $16.3 billion in a single day, the largest in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index?
Current status: Former featured article candidate, current good article

Some of the sources in this article are ridiculously bad edit

I don't get how this article seriously can have something like that as a source: https://newrepublic.com/article/177695/elon-musk-scoundrel-year-2023-new-republic

It's literally a straight up hater article on the level of an angry reddit user, where they claim he is the ultimate evil and make statements that almost hurt from it's stupidity like this one "The rockets from his rocket company, SpaceX, keep exploding".

It apparently does not matter what quality a source has, as long as it supports the point of view of the (generally left leaning) Wikipedia editors. Lrzw (talk) 22:57, 16 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

Amen! I was just reading the Wiki about Elon. Same hate on him in Wiki. Accusing him of misinformation about Covid (untrue). All of these writeups are incorrectly done on Elon. They list his accomplishments and then bash him for his opinions, which we all have and can change as one gets wiser to the world and the people in it. These lefties have not grown up yet and refuse to, because they act as though they already know it all. They dont seem to understand that people grow and change over time. Its called WISDOM. 2603:6010:1105:E395:8C1F:67A9:3A0F:D22D (talk) 14:37, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

I think some people need to read wp:soapbox. Slatersteven (talk) 14:41, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Remove FAQ Q5: Why does the article state that Musk's father partly owned an emerald mine, which Musk has disputed? edit

I recommend we remove the question

Q5: Why does the article state that Musk's father partly owned an emerald mine, which Musk has disputed?

and its answer:

A5: Because journalists with access to them have reported it as part of Elon's background. Specifically, a 2014 report originally printed in the San Jose Mercury News (and cited in the article) stated that Errol Musk had "a stake in" a mine. Elon affirmed his father's mine involvement in an interview with Jim Clash, a career interviewer of public figures, that was published by Forbes and withdrawn without explanation a few months later. Elon biographer Ashlee Vance likewise confirmed Errol's mining interest, with Elon's objections but not denials, in a 2020 interview report with Elon.

My reason:

- The article now reads: "Despite both Musk and Errol previously stating that Errol was a part owner of a Zambian emerald mine, in 2023, Errol recounted that the deal he made was to receive "a portion of the emeralds produced at three small mines."

ReferenceMan (talk) 01:04, 18 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

Or we change the article back? Slatersteven (talk) 11:48, 18 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm not opposed to this. Errol even says in the Daily Beast interview that everything he knows about (including the mines) was wrongly addressed by Isaacson.QRep2020 (talk) 05:48, 19 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I disagree. A reliable source (Business Insider) from September 2023 has the headline "Elon Musk really was telling the truth by saying his father Errol never owned an emerald mine, biographer says". https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-father-errol-never-owned-emerald-mine-telling-truth-2023-9
So, if a reliable source say it is not true, Wikipedia should not state the contrary.
We know that Errol is not a reliable source. From Walter Isaacson's book "Elon Musk", page 39:
"You’ll be back in a few months,” Elon says his father told him contemptuously. "You’ll never be successful." As usual, Errol has his own version of the story, in which he was the action hero. According to him, Elon became seriously depressed during his senior year of high school. His despair reached a head on Republic Day, May 31, 1989. His family was preparing to watch the parade, but Elon refused to get out of bed. His father leaned against the big desk in Elon’s room, with its well-used computer, and asked, “Do you want to go and study in America?” Elon perked up. “Yes,” he answered. Errol claims, “It was my idea. Up until then, he had never said that he wanted to go to America. So I said, ‘Well, tomorrow you should go and see the American cultural attache,’ who was a friend of mine from Rotary.” His father’s account, Elon says, was just another of his elaborate fantasies casting him as the hero. In this case, it was provably false. By Republic Day 1989, Elon had already gotten a Canadian passport and purchased his airline ticket.   [emphasis added].
ReferenceMan (talk) 04:22, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

"A member of the wealthy South African Musk family" edit

This is what I'd expect when describing the Kennedy's. It's a bizzare opening considering just how inconsequential Elon's family was. His father had an $80k share in an emrerald mine? But even that's disputed. Tikaboo (talk) 03:18, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

I agree. I recommend we remove or rewrite to remove "wealthy". There are several citations in Walter Isaacson's book which don't indicate that the family was wealthy.
- Page 19: "They divorced when Elon was eight. Maye and the children moved to a house on the coast near Durban, about 380 miles south of the Pretoria-Johannesburg area, where she juggled jobs as a model and dietician. There was little money. She bought her kids secondhand books and uniforms. On some weekends and holidays the boys (but usually not Tosca) would take the train to see their father in Pretoria. “He would send them back without any clothes or bags, so I had to buy them new clothes every time," she says. “He said that I would eventually return to him, because I would be so poverty-stricken and wouldn’t be able to feed them.”
- Page 23: "At age ten, Musk made a fateful decision, one that he would later regret: he decided to move in with his father. ... His [the father's] career had many ups and downs, but at that time he was feeling flush."
- Page 41: "A myth has grown that Musk, because his father was on- and-off successful, arrived in North America in 1989 with a lot of money, perhaps pockets filled with emeralds. Errol at times encouraged that perception. But in fact, what Errol got from the Zambian emerald mine had become worthless years earlier. When Elon left South Africa, his father gave him $2,000 in traveler’s checks and his mother provided him with another $2,000 by cashing out a stock account she had opened with the money she won in a beauty contest as a teenager. Otherwise, what he mainly had with him when he arrived in Montreal was a list of his mother’s relatives he had never met."
ReferenceMan (talk) 04:02, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
It's one source dude. I know he might want it splattered all over the place, but let's keep up appearances. QRep2020 (talk) 13:23, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The source for the statement "The family was wealthy during Elon's youth." is also just one - the single The Independent article. So I don't see how this is a good argument. If anything, given how sourcing works, text should be left out if contentious and not having enough sources to verify it. - 2A02:810A:12BF:E2A0:0:0:0:1E3E (talk) 12:31, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Wealthy family is well sourced and not contradicted by a divorced mom having financial troubles or Musk having $4k as a student. Feoffer (talk) 07:24, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
We go by what RS say. Slatersteven (talk) 12:19, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Sources say a bunch of stuff, we have to decide what's appropriate to go in the article, how much emphasis should it have, and how to say it. As I said, the current version in the lead is just bizzare given the actual family circumstances and it's something I would expect to see in an article on the Kennedy's. I propose cutting it from the lead and just have it as "Elon was born in..." It's already mentioned (and in a much more appropriate way) in the childhood and family section anyway: "The family was wealthy during Elon's youth." While we're on the topic, I would also like that to be less vague. Were they upper middle class? Or wealthy as in travelling in private jets? But perhaps we have to keep it vague considering the dearth of good sources. Tikaboo (talk) 15:27, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
From the lede, maybe, but not form the body. Its relevant to his life that he was not poor. Slatersteven (talk) 15:36, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The source I see for the word "wealthy" in the article is the October 2022 https://www.independent.co.uk/space/elon-musk-made-money-rich-b2212599.html. That reliable source relies on statements from Errol Musk that the family was wealthy.
But the Walter Isaacson biography came out a year later, in September 2023. The biography is a reliable source. In the biography, Isaacson gives proof that Errol is not a reliable source in at least one case ("In this case, [a story by Errol] was provably false"; see below and above for the details). Isaacson also casts doubt on ANY statements from Errol being reliable. And the Isaacson biography has several statement that indicate that the family was not "wealthy".
Elon has said that he grew up in a "lower, transitioning to upper, middle income situation". https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1654971702571331584?lang=en
One reliable source said the family was "middle class" (https://www.indiatoday.in/technology/news/story/elon-musk-says-he-did-not-have-a-happy-childhood-mom-reveals-they-stayed-in-a-one-bedroom-apartment-2376225-2023-05-08)
So, I believe that we should follow the Wikipedia guidelines Wikipedia:Verifiability and "immediately remove contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced", because (1) it is contentious, and (2) it is poorly sourced, given that a reliable source was relying on a now-proven unreliable source for the conclusion that the family was wealthy.
ReferenceMan (talk) 15:56, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Nope. QRep2020 (talk) 16:21, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Is Elon MUsk a reliable source? Slatersteven (talk) 16:22, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm not saying that Elon Musk is a reliable source. I'm saying that the material is contentious, and poorly sourced.
ReferenceMan (talk) 16:35, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The basic story of the mine from Isaacson (page 15):
"Like the Haldemans, he loved flying. He bought a twin-engine Cessna Golden Eagle, which he used to ferry television crews to a lodge he had built in the bush. On one trip in 1986, when he was looking to sell the plane, he landed at an airstrip in Zambia where a Panamanian-Italian entrepreneur offered to buy it. They agreed on a price, and instead of taking a payment in cash, Errol was given a portion of the emeralds produced at three small mines that the entrepreneur owned in Zambia.
"Zambia then had a postcolonial Black government, but there was no functioning bureaucracy, so the mine was not registered. “If you registered it, you would wind up with nothing, because [sic] the Blacks would take everything from you,” Errol says. He criticizes Maye’s family for being racist, which he insists he is not. “I don’t have anything against the Blacks, but they are just different from what I am,” he says in a rambling phone discourse.
"Errol, who never had an ownership stake in the mine, expanded his trade by importing raw emeralds and having them cut in Johannesburg. “Many people came to me with stolen parcels,” he says. “On trips overseas I would sell emeralds to jewelers. It was a cloak-and-dagger thing, because none of it was legal.” After producing profits of roughly $210,000, his emerald business collapsed in the 1980s when the Russians created an artificial emerald in the lab. He lost all of his emerald earnings."
So basically we have Errol here recanting/retracting his prior claims that he "owned" the mines. He claims that it can't be proven one way or the other because the whole thing was below-board out of necessity. He claims to have made significant amounts of money on black/grey market transactions which dried up when synthetic emeralds were invented.
The whole thing is "The dog ate my homework" levels of verifiability. The only support for any of this being true that I can find is tangential anecdotes from other members of the Musk family.
Errol's claims should be mentioned because they have received significant coverage, but I suggest that the article should hold any version of the story at arms length and avoid endorsing it as true, including the version where he owned the mine. Foonix0 (talk) 16:41, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
It may be contentious, its not poorly sourced, it has received wide coverage. Slatersteven (talk) 16:44, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Is the argument that he's also lying about having a plane and building a lodge in the bush? Because newsflash: poor families in South Africa at that time had dirt floors, not airplanes and hotels. There isn't a way to spin this where the family isn't wealthy, at least in relative terms. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:46, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The argument is not that he was poor. The argument is that the article's stated basis for claiming that the family was wealthy and the source therein is contradicted by other reliable sources and is a dubious story to begin with.
And yes, an airplane was obtainable on something like an "upper-middle class" engineering income at the time. Foonix0 (talk) 17:13, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
An airplane was obtainable on something like an upper-middle class engineering income in the US... Not in South Africa which was radically poorer and where the exact same level of income in dollars would put someone solidly in the upper class. In 1980 when the plane was bought for apparently 50,000 dollars the average South African laborer made under $500 a year... Making it a hundred years worth of average income. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:20, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Ok, by that standard, the average person in the US at the time was "wealthy" then. Few people in the US lived in dirt floor huts. The average income in 1980 was $7,787, making 15x the $500 figure every year.
The question boils down to where do you split the cohort lines? If you lump the Musks in with oppressed, poverty stricken South Africans, sure. If you count them closer to US/Europeans, not so much. The argument for the latter is because they were in the SA "ruling caste."
But this whole discussion is getting into WP:NOTAFORUM territory. To try to get back out if it: The whole point here is multiple RSs have contradicting information. I'm just saying that the article could be potentially improved by something like clarifying that they were "wealthy" by SA standards, or as pointed out above, including well-sourced material indicating there is more to the story. As it stands, there is a large information gap between stating that claim, and other related interesting things such as how much money musk had when immigrating to Canada. Foonix0 (talk) 18:29, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think we've clarified that they were either wealthy (by American standards) or very wealthy (by South African standards). Again, try explaining to someone in the US that your dad has a private plane and owns a safari lodge (in addition to a day job) but that you're not wealthy... Just the very very upper edge of middle class. I don't see the information gap between "stating that claim, and other related interesting things such as how much money musk had when immigrating to Canada" just because you come from a wealthy family doesn't mean they pay for everything or that your path is shoveled with a silver spoon. Musk can be both self made and from a wealthy family, there is no contradiction there unless the argument is that he inherited his wealth from his family which as far as I can tell exactly no-one argues. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:39, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
"just because you come from a wealthy family doesn't mean they pay for everything or that your path is shoveled with a silver spoon. Musk can be both self made and from a wealthy family, there is no contradiction there unless the argument is that he inherited his wealth from his family which as far as I can tell exactly no-one argues. "
Right, I agree, but the article doesn't say that. Why not? Foonix0 (talk) 18:52, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Say what? If no-one is arguing something why would we need to say it wasn't true? We don't call Musk an heir, we call him "a businessman and investor" Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:03, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Would adding something along the lines of "According to Elon his father ceased to support him financially when he graduated high school." to the body alleviate your concerns? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:30, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I think that would help a lot. Thank you. That's what I was trying to get at with bringing up the other side of the wealth story.
It might also be worth mentioning the quote above about getting $4k when moving, potentially in the Education section that discusses moving to Canada. (Isaacson is the source.) But I'm dropping the stick. So thanks for at least hearing me out. :) Foonix0 (talk) 19:36, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Except, according to our current article text, his father helped finance Zip2. Feoffer (talk) 12:40, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I wouldn't say that's him supporting Elon financially. It looks like that was Elon helping his father by getting him into a sought-after funding round. Tikaboo (talk) 12:48, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Well that is a bit of a pickle, probably best to leave out Musk's claim then as unduly self serving. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:59, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
This is why we go my what RS say, please provide one RS that disputes the claim they were wealthy. Slatersteven (talk) 18:43, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Alright, it was already stated in this thread, but here you go:
https://www.indiatoday.in/technology/news/story/elon-musk-says-he-did-not-have-a-happy-childhood-mom-reveals-they-stayed-in-a-one-bedroom-apartment-2376225-2023-05-08
See also the quotes from the Isaacson biography above, which is also an RS. Foonix0 (talk) 18:54, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The Indiatoday.in story is repeating what Musk tweeted. It's hardly an independent reliable third party source. QRep2020 (talk) 10:31, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
As for Isaacson, I encourage editors to step back and consider why the story of the qualities of Musk's childhood changed drastically from one biography (Vance) to another when their subject is living and contributed to both. Especially since the second one came after Musk started pushing his rags to riches narrative. In the face of contradictory sources, we sometimes need to consider context. Hell, Musk has even accused Isaacson of getting things wrong: https://www.theverge.com/2023/10/1/23895069/walter-isaacson-biography-musk-review QRep2020 (talk) 10:43, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The fact that Isaacson acknowledged a mistake and made a correction weighs in his favor in terms of reliability. Foonix0 (talk) 12:12, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
How? It shows Isaacson might want to get things right, but doesn't mean he did or does. QRep2020 (talk) 16:19, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Per WP:NEWSORG, "Signals that a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy are the publication of corrections and disclosures of conflicts of interest."
The same concept is applicable here. Foonix0 (talk) 17:52, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I support this change due to agreeing with this reasoning and, given that user QREp2020 has not replied in 9 days, assume there is no argument against this change. - 2A02:810A:12BF:E2A0:0:0:0:1E3E (talk) 12:31, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
given that user QREp2020 has not replied in 9 days, assume there is no argument against this change. That's not how it works. Multiple editors have opposed the proposal, they don't have to restate it every week. Feoffer (talk) 12:38, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
The article's current source is also just repeating what Errol said. Foonix0 (talk) 12:22, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
It also does not say they were not wealthy, just that they were middle class (which does not preclude being wealthy} and at some point in 1989 (the year he moved to Canada) he stayed in a "one bedroom apartment", which tells us nothing (I believe he still does, is he not wealthy?).Slatersteven (talk) 10:46, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

Also clarification, are we talking about removing this from the lede, or the whole article? Slatersteven (talk) 16:45, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

From what I can tell Foonix0 and Tikaboo want to remove it from the whole article. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:46, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I want it removed from the lead, and if possible be less vague in the body. Tikaboo (talk) 16:51, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
None of the statements are vague though... QRep2020 (talk) 21:03, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't imagine people reading know what we mean by "wealthy", especially since we're talking about South Africa. I suppose if his father was worth millions of dollars during his childhood then just keep it as "wealthy". If it's less then that then maybe just "wealthy by South African standards". Tikaboo (talk) 22:48, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
We also say that he was an "enthusiastic reader" - should we clarify how much reading he did relative to the average person of his age group at the time? What about him being "estranged" from Errol? Should we say slightly? Fully? Unequivocally? Some words are quantifiably vague and but convey meaning regardless. They had enough money for a plane, multiple houses, a computer when it wasn't a ubiquitous consumer good yet - they were wealthy. QRep2020 (talk) 23:28, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
It all depends what those things were worth. Today a small single engine plane can be bought for the price of a car, was it different back then? Multiple houses, were they small and in average areas or big mansions in expensive areas? Figuring this out makes the difference between "wealthy" and "wealthy by South African standards". Also "upper middle class" could be an option depending on the answer to these questions. Tikaboo (talk) 01:15, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Which is why we by what RS say, as we can assume they did some research, how much did Musk pay for his plane? Also upper middle class and wealthy are not exclusive, you see, to be thinking of rich.Slatersteven (talk) 10:00, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
If they've done research they seem to say what it is, I don't think there's any unsaid info. Yes wealthy and upper middle class aren't exclusive, the second is less vague though. Anyway, just for the lead are we all in agreement that this should be removed "A member of the wealthy South African Musk family"? Tikaboo (talk) 12:44, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
If we're going to talk about his family and childhood in the lead, we should characterize the family as wealthy, per RS. (Also, per Horse Eye's Back's, let's remember a typical family in 1971 South Africa had dirt floors. ) Feoffer (talk) 12:56, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's why "Wealthy by South African standards" might be more appropriate. We really don't talk about his family and childhood in the lead, the bizzare "A member of the wealthy South African Musk family" precedes just this: "Elon was born in Pretoria and briefly attended the University of Pretoria before immigrating to Canada at age 18". Tikaboo (talk) 13:08, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Seems perfectly ledeworthy to me. Solution in search of a problem. RSes say wealthy. Feoffer (talk) 13:54, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think we have consensus that it isn't bizarre or unsupported. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:59, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I disagree. I recommend we remove it from the lead. Tikaboo wants it removed from the lead.
Slatersteven said: "[Remove] From the lede, maybe, but not form the body. Its relevant to his life that he was not poor.
The lead is supposed to be "summary of [the article]'s most important contents". The lead currently says: "A member of the wealthy South African Musk family,..."
The article body only currently states:
"The family was wealthy during Elon's youth. Despite both Musk and Errol previously stating that Errol was a part owner of a Zambian emerald mine, in 2023, Errol recounted that the deal he made was to receive "a portion of the emeralds produced at three small mines."
Whether the family was wealthy isn't an important aspect of the article. And by putting it into the lead plays into all of the discussion as to whether Errol owned an emerald mine, which is no longer in the article.
ReferenceMan (talk) 15:39, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Let me rephrase. By putting it into the lead plays into the much-discussed perception that Errol owned an emerald mine, which is now refuted in article.
ReferenceMan (talk) 15:42, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The distinction between "owning a mine" and "owning the gems it produced" is a subtle one. Precision is important, but it's hardly a "refutation". Feoffer (talk) 15:59, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thats not a refutation by any reasonable expectation. Whether or not one thinks it should be in the lead is also separate from whether or not it is "bizarre or unsupported" but you appear to be directly conflating them in a misleading way. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:08, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Second. QRep2020 (talk) 16:14, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Do we need to do an rfc regarding its inclusion in the lead? It seems obvious to me that it doesn't belong in the lead (failing the requirement of a "summary of [the article]'s most important contents") and just the phrase itself is strange considering the actual family circumstances. Again, something I'd expect to see in an article on the Kennedy's, not a fairly bog-standard upper middle class family. Tikaboo (talk) 16:21, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I have never run into a "fairly bog-standard upper middle class family" with a private plane (not a starter plane either, pressurized twin prop) and investments in a safari lodge. Thats not in any sense standard until well into upper class. Middle class families by definition aren't making significant investments in businesses they don't run, the families who do that are by definition part of the capitalist or upper class. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:29, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The next step would be Dispute Resolution.
Also, note that the first sentence for Musk family mentions their wealth. And rightfully so: Elon is wealthy, his brother is wealthy, etc. If we are to bring up that he is a member of the Musk family and their wealth is mentioned by the article elsewhere, then clearly their wealth is something to state early. Or is there reason to think the family is not at least currently wealthy? QRep2020 (talk) 16:53, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't know what the plane or safari investment was worth. If his net worth was in the millions then sure, wealthy, if it's less then they're best described as upper middle class imo.
It's notable that Elon is the richest man on earth, that should be mentioned in the lead. His father's wealth is pretty irrelevant, certainly too irrelevant to mention in the lead. Tikaboo (talk) 16:59, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The lead doesn't say anything about his father's wealth specifically, then or now, it only says the family is wealthy: "A member of the wealthy South African Musk family". QRep2020 (talk) 17:33, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
"A member of the wealthy South African Musk family, Elon was born in Pretoria..." Because of what follows it reads as if he was born into this Kennedy-like family. Tikaboo (talk) 17:42, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
It would have to start with "Born a member of the wealthy..." to convey that. Right now, all that clause does is state that he belongs to a wealthy family.
If it helps, we can simply change it to "Elon is a member of the wealthy South African Musk family. He was born in..." QRep2020 (talk) 17:52, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
It definitely already conveys it. It shouldn't precede "he was born in..." at all, because it sounds like he was born into a famous wealthy family (Kennedy-like). Perhaps later in the lead you could link to the article noting that there are other notable family members. Again though I question the reason for that given they are largely irrelevant, and the Musk family article is the first link in the body. Tikaboo (talk) 18:52, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
If we said that they were prominent (as we do at JFK) that would convey famous and wealthy... Wealthy just conveys wealthy. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:08, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
"A member of the wealthy South African Musk family, Elon was born in..." sounds like he was born into a notable wealthy family, which isn't true. At the most we can say his father was wealthy, though again we run into the issue that it doesn't belong in the lead. Are we at an impasse here and need to do dispute resolution? Tikaboo (talk) 19:26, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
There are other ways to frame it, we could follow The Independence lead and talk about being born into a position of financial privilege rather than into a wealthy family[1]. Would something like that be more amenable? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:54, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
For the lead it's better than what we currently have. A better forumation imo is "Elon was born to a wealthy father in..." The whole wealth thing is an issue too though since we don't seem to know his father's wealth, was it millions of less? If it's less then options are "somewhat wealthy", "upper middle class", "wealthy by South African standards". I still find it out of place to put in the lead though. Tikaboo (talk) 20:54, 31 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Slatersteven said: "This is why we go my what RS say, please provide one RS that disputes the claim they were wealthy. "
Here's an interview with Ashley Vance (Elon's biographer) where Vance says "He [Elon] grew up in South Africa and had the good fortune of doing so in an upper-middle-class home. But that's more or less where the good fortune ended."
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-05-22/elon-musk-speaks-frankly-on-coronavirus-spacex-and-rage-tweets
With that as additional evidence, I would like to remove "wealthy family" from the lead. We will continue to work on the phrasing in the body of the article.
ReferenceMan (talk) 07:08, 1 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Upper-middle clas does not say "not wealthy". And an interview only means we can say "which Elon Musk has denied" (nor am I sure that a COVID denier could even by an RS). Sorry, none of this says he was not wealthy. Slatersteven (talk) 10:22, 1 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
There is nothing wrong with the wording in the body of the article. QRep2020 (talk) 12:07, 1 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

I will remind users of wp:v, if an RS says it that is what we say, to challenge it an RS must EXPLICITLY challenge the claim, not merely not make it. RS saying "water can turn into ice," is not saying water is not wet, nor is saying "it can turn into steam", we would need a source saying "water is not wet". Slatersteven (talk) 10:39, 1 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Maybe we're confusing multiple things here.
1) Elon Musk is certainly a member of the wealthy family that consists of himself, his brother Kimbal, and his cousin Lyndon Rive, all of whom are wealthy, on or after the year 2000 (when Zip2 was sold to Compaq). I believe that is why the article on the Musk family says that the family is wealthy. See Musk family.
2) It's not clear (to me, anyway), that any of Errol or Maye's ancestors were wealthy.
3) It is not clear (to me, anyway) that the family of Errol and Maye Musk and their children were wealthy before Errol and Maye divorced in 1979.
- Ashley Vance says Elon "grew up in an upper middle-class home". "Upper-middle class" is NOT wealthy. See: https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/where-do-i-fall-in-the-american-economic-class-system "One way some researchers divide individuals into economic classes is by looking at their incomes. From that data, they split earners into different classes: poor, lower-middle class, middle class, upper-middle class and wealthy"
4) Is is not clear (to me, anyway) that Errol or Maye Musk were wealthy after 1989 (when Elon left for college).
5) The debate (to me, anyway) is whether Errol was wealthy after he and Maye divorced, from about 1980 to about 1990.
To me, the lead saying: "A member of the wealthy South African Musk family, Elon was born in Pretoria ..." implies #2 or possibly #3 above, for which I have found no citations.
I recommend the phrasing in the lead of "Elon is a member of the wealthy South African Musk family, which includes his brother Kimbal and his cousin Lyndon Rive", and put that sentence at the end of the first paragraph, NOT immediately before "Elon was born..." ReferenceMan (talk) 14:55, 1 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
The recommendations keep changing. Is this the final version, the one that's been signed off on? QRep2020 (talk) 22:28, 1 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
The linked article cites Pew... Pew defines down middle as "two-thirds to double the median family income" with upper being those with more and lower being those with less. Double the median family income in South Africa in 1980 was about a thousand dollars a year. We're talking about a Musk family income that is on the lower lever an order of magnitude greater than that. For *white* South Africans they would possibly have been upper middle class, but for South Africans they were wealthy. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 22:42, 1 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's why "wealthy by South African standards" would be a good option. Tikaboo (talk) 02:20, 2 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
We do not engage in wp:or if a source says X, we can't say Y. For all we know they did not mean "by the standards of South Africa". Slatersteven (talk) 10:43, 2 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Does anyone object to ReferenceMan's phrasing? If not, should it go in the lead or the body? I don't think the family is notable enough for the lead so should go in the body. I'm fine either way though. Tikaboo (talk) 15:46, 3 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Because we'd also have to add white if we're saying "South African standards" and "A member of the white wealthy by the standards of South Africa South African Musk family" is just too wordy. It would also be inherently US-centric because it assumes US as normal, which is not how English wikipedia works... We're a global encyclopedia which reflects global standards, not British or American ones. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:51, 3 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
It goes without saying that this wealth would be within the context provided, as per "the meaning of wealth is context-dependent". It's inherently US-centric to think that this reference is based on US standards, hence the wording is unnecessary. CommunityNotesContributor (talk) 13:22, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
I disagree; it would be perfectly reasonable (from a reader's point of view) to assume US or worldwide standards for the statement about the family's wealth, particularly given the context we have established in the first paragraph of the lead which tells us that Elon is one of the wealthiest people in the world. Rosbif73 (talk) 14:58, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm referring to "A member of the wealthy South African Musk family" which is the only context here. If readers misunderstand the obvious context, and instead attribute it to the first paragraph, then they will likely struggle to understand most of the article that is based on the format of WP:PARAGRAPH: "When the topic changes, a new paragraph should be started". CommunityNotesContributor (talk) 15:27, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think that context we invited, I am not sure any RS say that. Slatersteven (talk) 15:30, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
I thought I had. Slatersteven (talk) 15:59, 3 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
The current wording in the body (The family was wealthy during Elon's youth) is backed by a single source and contradicted by others, so should probably be removed or at least qualified. The current wording in the lead (A member of the wealthy South African Musk family, Elon was born...) reflects the current body, but I'm far from convinced that any mention of a wealthy family is DUE in the lead. Rosbif73 (talk) 14:50, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
There are some other sources to consider from an initial search:
As a side note it'd be worth including Musk's denial of the Emerald mine in the body per Daily Beast:
Edit: Do you have a list of RS that refutes this claim, other than Musk himself? I couldn't find it in the body, it should be added to make informed decision over the lead per WP:LEADFOLLOWSBODY CommunityNotesContributor (talk) 15:48, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Let me make this clear, until I say yes, just assume I am saying no, it is easier. Slatersteven (talk) 12:41, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

We're at a bit of an impasse for how to discuss the wealth of his father. For now though does anybody object to removing it from the lead and just having it in the early life section? So instead of the current lead A member of the wealthy South African Musk family, Elon was born in... it changes to Elon was born in... We leave the current early life section as The family was wealthy during Elon's youth and for the word family we link to the Musk Family article. Tikaboo (talk) 21:29, 11 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

does anybody object to removing it from the lead Yes, many. Feoffer (talk) 21:31, 11 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
What dispute resolution should we go to? This? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/Noticeboard Tikaboo (talk) 21:45, 11 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

"In one incident, after having called a boy whose father had committed suicide "stupid", Elon was thrown down concrete steps." edit

I don't understand the relevance of the father suicide comment. There's no indication in the sources that the father's suicide had anything to do with Elon calling the boy stupid. The source of this is Elon's father and he only mentions it as a reason why he didn't go hard on the boy who attacked his son. Tikaboo (talk) 03:21, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

I agree. I recommend we remove the "whose father had committeed suicide" phrase. We know that Errol's comments are not reliable.
From Walter Isaacson's book "Elon Musk", page 39:
"You’ll be back in a few months,” Elon says his father told him contemptuously. "You’ll never be successful." As usual, Errol has his own version of the story, in which he was the action hero. According to him, Elon became seriously depressed during his senior year of high school. His despair reached a head on Republic Day, May 31, 1989. His family was preparing to watch the parade, but Elon refused to get out of bed. His father leaned against the big desk in Elon’s room, with its well-used computer, and asked, “Do you want to go and study in America?” Elon perked up. “Yes,” he answered. Errol claims, “It was my idea. Up until then, he had never said that he wanted to go to America. So I said, ‘Well, tomorrow you should go and see the American cultural attache,’ who was a friend of mine from Rotary.” His father’s account, Elon says, was just another of his elaborate fantasies casting him as the hero. In this case, it was provably false. By Republic Day 1989, Elon had already gotten a Canadian passport and purchased his airline ticket.   [emphasis added].
ReferenceMan (talk) 04:09, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
lol QRep2020 (talk) 13:23, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
We should mention that Musk sustained injuries required hospitalization along with the circumstances that reportedly triggered the incident. Feoffer (talk) 07:15, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Separate issue. Also, not needed. QRep2020 (talk) 13:26, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
The article doesn't even mention him getting malaria. Honestly, I think all mentions of this "incident" should be removed. QRep2020 (talk) 13:46, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
We go by what RS say. Slatersteven (talk) 12:18, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Sources say a bunch of stuff and we decide what's relevant to include. Could you make an argument why it should be included? Tikaboo (talk) 15:29, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
None I am responding to "We know that Errol's comments are not reliable", I want a better argument as to why we should remove sources long-standing content than "well I think its a lie". Slatersteven (talk) 15:34, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply
Ah ok, I just think the "dad suicide" part of the story should be removed, I'm indifferent to the rest of it. Tikaboo (talk) 16:49, 30 March 2024 (UTC)Reply

Suggested addition to Politics section before/after paragraph discussing Elon Musk's views on Israel-Hamas war edit

On October 11, 2023, Elon Musk directed Tesla to halt charging fees for its 22 supercharger stations in Israel for nearly three weeks. By making it free for Israel's 17,120 Tesla car-owners to charge, Tesla's free charging policy helped facilitate travel during Israel's mobilization for the Israel-Hamas war. When asked if he would aid Gazans as well, Must stated that "I would like to help those in Gaza who want peace but have no way to do so. In general, I want all humans to be happy and prosperous, without regard to race, creed, religion or anything else."

Reputable Sources:

https://www.jpost.com/business-and-innovation/energy-and-infrastructure/article-767885

https://www.cnbctv18.com/auto/elon-musk-makes-tesla-superchargers-free-in-israel-amid-tensions-18025061.htm Noamthinks (talk) 14:51, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Not everything he does should be here. Slatersteven (talk) 14:58, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
  Not done for now: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{Edit extended-protected}} template. Shadow311 (talk) 15:33, 8 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

About Amber Heard and Elon Musk's relationship edit

Firstly, Amber Heard is listed as Elon's partner in this article's infobox yet she does not qualify as one. According to Template:Infobox_person, "partner" means "unmarried life partners in a domestic partnership" [and "A domestic partnership is a relationship, usually between couples who live together and share a common domestic life, but are not married (to each other or to anyone else)"]. Yet according to the source provided for the inclusion of Heard as Musk's partner in the infobox, Musk and Heard were only ever in an "on-and-off" relationship and there is no evidence whatsoever that they were ever in a domestic partnership.

Secondly, Musk and Heard's relationship is indicated in the infobox as having began in 2015. Yet according to the source provided, "Though [Musk] first met Amber after seeing her in 2013's Machete Kills, the book said that their romance didn't take off until four years later, after the she filed for divorce from Johnny Depp." This places the start of their relationship, according to this source, in 2017. As such, the 2015 date is unsupported by the source. And there is no reliable source anywhere on the internet that places the beginning of their "on-and-off" relationship in 2015.

For these reasons, I request that Amber Heard be entirely removed as Musk's partner in the infobox section of this article. There is no evidence that supports this inclusion.

Regards. Abu Wan (talk) 18:00, 10 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

I'm not sure why no qualified editor has responded to this request for almost a week now but I'd like to emphasize it more now that an edit was recently made to the referenced content in the article.
While the edit improves the factual accuracy of the content, it still does not address the primary issue that I raised: That is, that Amber Heard should not be listed as Musk's partner in the infobox because, as per Template:Infobox_person, Heard and Musk were never partners. That is, they were never "unmarried life partners in a domestic partnership".
The source added to accompany the recent edit only underscores the latter fact because now both sources attached to the content show that Musk and Heard were only ever in an "on-and-off" boyfriend-girlfriend (months-long) long-distance relationship. No evidence exists, or has been provided, that proves that the two were ever in a domestic partnership.
So, again, I request that Heard be removed as Musk's partner in the infobox section of the article.
Kind regards. Abu Wan (talk) 12:02, 16 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
The sources seem to say that at one point they considered each other life partners, quibbling about what constitutes a domestic partnership when both parties are extremely wealthy and have multiple residences seems like a lost cause. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:41, 16 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

"... quibbling about what constitutes a domestic partnership when both parties are extremely wealthy and have multiple residences."

I don't think there is any room for quibbling over this because it seems like a rather straightforward thing.
Indeed, the definition and description of who a "partner" is supposed to be by Wikipedia standards is pretty clear: "unmarried life partners in a domestic partnership (of any gender or sexual orientation)."
Plus, it's likewise clear, on Wikipedia, what a domestic partnership is: "an intimate relationship between people, usually couples, who live together and share a common domestic life but who are not married (to each other or to anyone else)."
The linked sources are also clear on what the nature of Musk and Heard's relationship was: an "on-and-off" girlfriend-boyfriend relationship that lasted for months and that was long-distance. Whether or not Musk or Heard or both considered each other a "life partner"—a contention unsupported by both sources by the way—is immaterial because even if this were true, the fact that none of the sources supports the contention that they ever lived together and shared a domestic life disqualifies the relationship from being considered a domestic partnership.
Therefore, I don't see any room for any quibbling over this because, it seems to me, the sources and the facts all speak for themselves. As such, I sincerely don't understand why Heard was ever included in this article as Musk's partner, let alone why she continues to be included as such when there is no source supporting this inclusion.
For these reasons, I still request the removal of Heard as Musk's partner from this article's infobox section because there is literally no source or evidence to support this inclusion while there are several to support its reversal. Abu Wan (talk) 01:17, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
We don't use wikipedia backwards like that... What the article says and what a policy or guideline mean can often be very different. Do you also object to Grimes' inclusion or just Heard's? I agree that this isn't a cut and dried situation, but I think there's an open question as to what "share a common domestic life" means when you have that much money and where the majority of our domestic lives take place on devices. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 02:14, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm not sure what you mean by using "wikipedia backwards like that" but if anyone is guilty of this charge, then it is the person that added Heard as Musk's partner in this article's infobox despite it being against Wikipedia's guidelines. Also guilty may be the person trying to argue against Heard's removal by trying to expand these guidelines' meaning to impractical proportions.
While I agree that there is some measure of discretion available to editors on Wikipedia, there are also guidelines that they should strive to abide by if they are to produce articles that meet Wikipedia's standards. I mean, if it is allowed that any editor can simply justify contravening a policy or a guideline with the retort that "what the article says and what a policy or guideline mean can often be very different," then Wikipedia could descend into editorial chaos. Indeed, what use would the guidelines be in this case?
Moreover, what is the case in life is not always what ought to be. That is, just because Wikipedia articles often contravene Wikipedia policies or guidelines does not mean that this is how the articles ought to be.
What all this means in this context is that whoever added Heard as Musk's partner clearly contravened a Wikipedia guideline; and to excuse this violation merely because sometimes "what the article says and what a policy or guideline mean can often be very different" would be fallacious, biased, and improper.
All that said, you seem to use Musk's wealth and multiple residences to imply that because of these, it is a subject of debate what "share a common domestic life" means. I disagree. I mean, even with multiple residences, it is often not impossible nor arguable to determine whether two wealthy people are in a domestic partnership or not because they often will share a life in one or two of these residences. Take the cases of Shakira and her partners for instance. Or of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. It is hardly disputable that these are all clear-cut domestic partnership cases, no matter how many homes Shakira, Depp, or even Paradis own.
You mention Grimes and ask whether I dispute her inclusion as Musk's partner. I do not dispute this primarily because: 1. The two were together for a number of years, not just months, during which time they had several children together and; 2. There is public evidence that they've shared a domestic life together in, among other possible locales, Texas.
Now, let me turn this around and ask you about another one of Musk's partners. We know from sources that Musk had a year-long relationship with a Jennifer Gwynne in 1994 and that the relationship was mostly long-distance. Would you be OK if I included Gwynne as Musk's partner in the infobox too? If not, why do you seem to find it complicated or a subject of debate to not include Heard as Musk's partner?
On my side, I would dispute Gwynne's inclusion for the same reasons I dispute Heard's: there is no evidence that the relationship was ever a domestic partnership, as per the "partner" guidelines on Wikipedia. Abu Wan (talk) 12:01, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Would it surprise you to learn that Wikipedia:Ignore all rules is actually policy? Our discretion is almost absolute, I have removed Heard for now... Lets see what other people think. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:28, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
It should be reverted. Court testimonies, court evidence, Musk's own verbalized regrets, etc. suggest they had a serious relationship. QRep2020 (talk) 07:30, 21 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Who is he currently in a relationship right jow? Slatersteven (talk) 12:43, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 11 April 2024 edit

"The tweet was widely regarded as echoing white nationalist sentiments[429] " The statement should be modified to offer more concrete evidence supporting the claim that the tweet was widely perceived as echoing white nationalist sentiments. The current citation refers to an article in the 'Ideas' subsection of The Atlantic, a news outlet with known biases, authored by Yair Rosenberg, whose work has been criticized for its highly opinionated perspective. This weakens the reliability of the content on Wikipedia. 115.98.235.148 (talk) 15:11, 11 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

  Not done: The Atlantic is a reliable source and we don't care for your concern trolling. – Muboshgu (talk) 15:14, 11 April 2024 (UTC)Reply