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In the confusing stock market drama, the billionaire has inserted himself and enhanced his position as the ultimate insider outsider.

“The stock market is a strange thing,” Mr. Musk said in an interview with Business Insider in December. “It’s like having a manic depressive who’s constantly telling you how much your company’s worth. And sometimes they have a good day, and sometimes they have a bad day, but the company is basically the same. The public markets are crazy.”

A month later, Mr. Musk entered the multibillion-dollar battle over GameStop between elite hedge funds and retail investors communicating on Reddit in one of the most confusing stock market scandals in years.

As GameStop shares skyrocketed on Tuesday, Mr. Musk weighed in with a one-word tweet-‘Gamestonk!! -and a link to the Reddit forum where much of the conversation has taken place. The message from Mr. Musk was seen as an endorsement of sorts from one of the web’s most influential figures, and investors bid up the price of GameStop to new highs in the days that followed.

It’s a spectacle tailor made for the live-wire online persona of Mr. Musk. With 44 million Twitter followers, he is at once a capitalist icon, a glossy magazine star and a bomb-throwing troll, occupying his position as the chief executive of two major corporations with a bravado that most business leaders wouldn’t dream of. A hero to the anti-establishment crowd, the richest man in the world is still, somehow, riling up the digital masses one tweet at a time.

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