Is Garry Tan San Francisco “Twitter Menace” or True Believer?

But Tan's passion, as it is for a growing number of tech leaders, is San Francisco politics. He's part of a love-it-or-hate-them group of tech executives and investors with lots of opinions about the city and endless piles of cash to, as they say in the tech industry, move fast and break things. (Their critics would say it's more like they're trying to buy City Hall.)

For some in San Francisco's political establishment, Mr. Tan, 43, has become the most annoying in a parade of wealthy tech executives. He has created a bombastic online persona by spending around $400,000 in local politics in recent years – with potentially much more to come. And on social media site X, where he has 425,000 followers, Mr Tan not only rubs some people the wrong way, he infuriates them.

Shortly after midnight on Jan. 27, he posted on X, formerly Twitter, that seven left-leaning members of the city's Board of Supervisors, listed by name, should “die slowly,” punctuated by an expletive. It was a subtle reference to rap legend Tupac Shakur's famous song “Hit 'Em Up,” released 28 years ago as an insult to his musical rivals. But to some it seemed like a threat.

Mr Tan was, he admitted when an X follower asked him, drunk.

A few hours after his post was published, Mr Tan deleted it and apologised. But many had already seen it.

A couple of days later, some supervisors received anonymous letters at their homes bearing Mr Tan's face and the words: “Garry Tan is right! I wish a slow and painful death for you and your loved ones.” Aaron Peskin, a supervisor who is considering challenging London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, in November's election, was one of the few supervisors to file police reports based on Mr. Tan's post.

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