Elon Musk buys Twitter. Or, in other words, the richest person in the world has bought a new toy and promises more free speech, less bots, and maybe even more Elon. After all, it’s his platform now.
But using this platform hasn’t always yielded the best returns for Tesla’s CEO. And while it cemented his position as the internet’s favorite meme lord, it got him into trouble far more often than the average person. It might be time to take a look at some of the most heart-pounding Twitter debacles of all time.
Musk has been a very outspoken critic of COVID-19 and how government entities have handled it. In fact, he spent several months doubling down on the pandemic overstatement and even predicted there would be “close to zero new cases” per the end of April 2020. Understandably, he was appalled that the pandemic could shut down his factories.
Eventually, Musk began a spat with the Alameda, Calif., government when Tesla production in Fremont was declared not to be a essential business. And yes, it came on Twitter, with threats to move the company out of California, which it later did, with Tesla’s headquarters now in Austin, Texas.
Tesla eventually bowed to pressure and temporarily halted production, but not before it caught the attention of lawmakers.
Tesla actually moved its headquarters to Texas at the end of 2021, and Musk contracted COVID twice.
In 2018, a boys’ soccer team in Thailand was trapped in a cave system after rising floodwaters blocked their way back. International help has been offered, including from Musk himself. An explorer credited with being instrumental in extracting the children, Vernon Unsworth, publicly criticized Musk’s involvement, which sparked a rather one-sided spat on Twitter.
Musk infamously called Unsworth a “pedo” and pushed the trial bear. Unsworth sued and ultimately lost the libel suit, but the tweets (for the most part) remain.
The farting unicorn
Similar versions (but not direct copies) of the artwork were used in the car and on Tesla Company Christmas cards. The musk was accused to steal the artwork from the artist’s daughter.
He went on to say that it would be “lame” if the artist decided to sue Tesla and the attention actually increased the sale of his mugs with the artwork. That’s also the case, as the artist said he sold around 100 coffee mugs after Musk’s tweet.
Tweeting senators who suggest the richest person in the world pays more taxes
At the end of 2021, tax reform – including billionaires paying their fair share of taxes – was a hot topic. Around the same time, Musk also let Twitter decide whether to sell $20 billion worth of Tesla stock. They voted yes and he kept his word.
Musk then tweeted two very vocal senators: Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Wyden also happens to be the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and called out Musk directly citing his Twitter poll. Musk responded with a rather sly innuendo. He later did the same with Senator Elizabeth Warren.
$420 financing guaranteed
If you haven’t lived under a rock, you know this one: the infamous “funding secured” tweet that got Musk in a lot of trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In fact, it was this tweet that ultimately kicked him out as chairman of Tesla’s board of directors and fined him $20 million.
The SEC said Musk’s tweet (and supposed offer) was definitely a weed reference, so there’s that too.
“We allege that Musk arrived at the price of $420 assuming a 20% premium to Tesla’s then-prevailing (was) stock price and then rounding to $420 due to the significance of this. number in the culture of marijuana and his belief that his girlfriend would enjoy it,” said SEC Co-Director of Enforcement Steven Peikin.
Part of the SEC’s settlement with Musk was that he would get a company-appointed Twitter babysitter to make sure his tweets wouldn’t affect Tesla’s stock price.
Musk’s battle with the SEC is still ongoing, with some pretty heated tweets. The infamous secure funding message is still echoing on Twitter, and new information about the whole ordeal is still coming to light today.
And do not forget
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