Elon Musk’s tweets are causing more trouble at the SEC, but this time his cyber mischief could ruin the fun for chief executives everywhere. As the L.A. Times reports, “Robert Jackson, one of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s four commissioners, said the agency should consider publishing new guidance on chief executives’ use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, in the wake of controversies involving Tesla founder Elon Musk.”
The biggest of the controversies started last August when Musk tweeted, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Of course, the stiffs at the SEC didn’t get that “420” was a joke about smoking weed, and sued Musk and Tesla for fraud. In the settlement, Musk agreed to step down as chairman, would remain CEO, and the company would pay a $20 million fine. He also agreed to get permission before posting anything that could be construed as phony business info.
Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
But commissioner Jackson now insists that Musk did bust their deal in February when he tweeted that his company would produce “around 500k” cars in 2019. In the next tweet he adjusted the number to 400,000, but was back at it again in April, when he doubled-down on the claim.
Very much so. There are 2.5B cars & trucks on Earth. Even replacing 1% of that fleet would require making 25M vehicles per year. Tesla will make over 500k cars in next 12 months, but that’s a mere 2% of 25M or 0.02% of global vehicle fleet. Car industry slow -> demand >> supply.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2019
The happy billionaire seems to have known that he was stirring the pot, tweeting just a few days later, “My Twitter is pretty much complete nonsense at this point.”
My Twitter is pretty much complete nonsense at this point
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2019
Musk’s social media mayhem isn’t confined to the financial world. Last month a federal judge in L.A. green-lit a $75,000 defamation suit against him for calling one of the rescuers of 12 Thai boys who got stuck in a cave last July “pedo guy” in a tweet he deleted, but not before someone could grab a screenshot.
Elon Musk deletes tweet accusing diver in Thai rescue of being a pedophile. For those who missed it, here it is again pic.twitter.com/xQ0q22ee31
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 15, 2018
Musk thinks people need to get a sense of humor. Just yesterday, he summed up his Twitter philosophy.
(muffled titter) pic.twitter.com/xAOnOzkDg6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 13, 2019
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