Elon Musk on Twitter: Short, sharp - no sentiment attached

Reuters | Apr 11, 2019, 05:25 PM IST

To say that Tesla Inc Chief Elon Musk goes on Twitter quite frequently would be quite an understatement. Yes, he is quite a prolific tweeter. He of course, has run afoul of authorities as well as others, with the kind of stuff he seeds his handle with. Most recently, a tweet Musk sent violated a 2018 fraud settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has said that Musk used Twitter to update investors on Tesla`s production outlook without getting required approval from company lawyers. Musk countered that the tweet contained nothing new and did not need advance approval. But Elon Must tweets are not confined to just work space, he has tweeted on a number of other events that led to major controversies. However, we confine ourselves to the professional ones here. And yes, readers should know that he is not among those who backs down either.
The following is a sampling of some of Musk`s more notable posts on Twitter, where he now has more than 25 million followers.


"Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019." -- Feb. 19, 2019. The tweet that prompted the SEC contempt motion. Musk has said the tweet merely restated outlook he provided on a Jan. 30, 2019 conference call, when he said production "may be on the order of 350,000 to 500,000 Model 3s, something like that this year." Image source: Reuters


"Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point!" -- Oct. 4, 2018. Musk was attacking both the SEC and short-sellers by renaming the regulator just one week after being sued over the "funding secured" tweet. Twelve days after this tweet, he and Tesla reached their settlement with the SEC. Image source: Reuters


"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured." -- Aug. 7, 2018. The tweet that prompted the SEC lawsuit. Musk was not close to taking Tesla private, and had not lined up financing. Tesla`s share price traded as much as 13.3 percent higher following the tweet, which occurred during market hours. Musk tweeted on Aug. 24, 2018 that Tesla would remain public. Image source: Reuters


"They have about three weeks before their short position explodes" -- June 17, 2018. Musk frequently uses Twitter to attack short-sellers betting that Tesla`s share price will go down. He was responding to a tweet suggesting that short-sellers were "freaking out" about suspected problems on Tesla`s production line. Image source: Reuters


"Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt. So bankrupt, you can`t believe it." -- April 1, 2018. Some investors appeared to believe it. A day after the April Fool`s Day prank, Tesla`s share price fell 5.1 percent. Image source: Reuters


"When the zombie apocalypse happens, you’ll be glad you bought a flamethrower. Works against hordes of the undead or your money back!" -- Jan. 27, 2018. Musk`s Boring Co sold flamethrowers and hats to raise funds to build underground tunnels for its hyperloop transportation project. Image source: Reuters


"I`ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited." -- July 25, 2017. Musk was targeting Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who had downplayed Musk`s warnings about the danger of artificial intelligence. Image source: Reuters



"A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien ... and magic!" -- June 6, 2017. In an interview with the New York Times in August 2018, Musk said he takes Ambien and was having problems sleeping because of stress from his job. Image source: Reuters


"The rumor that I`m building a spaceship to get back to my home planet Mars is totally untrue" -- March 12, 2015. Musk has said he wanted his company SpaceX to develop a rocket capable of an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight two years later. Image source: Reuters