Elon Musk and Twitter – A Timeline
Elon Musk, one of Twitter’s most controversial users, became the owner of the platform in a $44 billion deal last year. This acquisition marked the culmination of Musk’s long history with Twitter, dating back to over 14 years ago, when he joined the platform. Over the years, Musk expressed interest in buying Twitter and had been an active user, sharing memes, news about his company Tesla, and pithy commentary on various topics.
Elon Musk Scandals
However, Musk’s tweets have not been without consequences. In 2018, he posted a tweet about taking Tesla private at $420 a share, resulting in two fines from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for misleading investors. The penalty, totaling $40 million, underscored the importance of accuracy and responsibility in public pronouncements. As part of the 2018 settlement, Musk agreed to have his tweets about Tesla approved by legal counsel before posting to avoid market-moving news. However, he flouted these conditions, causing further SEC troubles and legal actions. Musk’s tweets about selling his stock led to an investigation for insider trading involving him and his brother.
Elon Musk Twitter Tweets
Twitter feuds have also landed Musk in court. He faced trial for defamation after baselessly calling British cave diver Vernon Unsworth a “pedo guy” on Twitter. While he later apologized and deleted the tweets, the controversy continued, with shareholders suing Musk for alleged inaccuracies and damages caused by his tweets. Musk’s tweets have not only sparked legal issues but also raised concerns about his behavior and statements. He has faced criticism for chaotic and crass tweets, including downplaying the severity of Covid-19 and making controversial comparisons.
With Musk owning Twitter, there were concerns about how his freewheeling personal style and “free speech” mentality will impact the platform’s diverse online community. Critics worried about whether Musk will be accountable for his actions and decisions as the owner of a global online community with millions of users. Since Musk acquired the social media platform, he shared, and subsequently deleted an anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory, which prompted other users on the platform to start testing his boundaries on hateful speech. He also introduced Twitter Blue and Twitter Gold, two subscription models for the users, that would give them a blue or a gold checkmark respectively, while removing the previous verification requirements that users had to go through. This prompted numerous people to purchase the Twitter Blue subscription, change their names, and start impersonating various official accounts, including Musk’s own Twitter. At one point, a user that was pretending to be the account of Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant, tweeted that the company’s products for insulin would become free, which caused the company’s stock to briefly decrease in the market. As the CEO, Musk has also laid off thousands of employees whiledemanding the rest to work very long hours at a high intensity, which left the social media platform operating with barely a skeleton crew. Later on, Musk decided to limit the number of tweets that users could see on a daily basis, stating that he was doing so to put a stop to the high levels of system manipulation and data scraping, however, later reports surfaced stating that this might have been Musk’sworkaround after failing to pay the cloud services at Google.