CEO of Tesla, Elon, Musk, acquired a significant share in Twitterpaving the way for potential turbulence due to the social media platform’s position on freedom of speech.
The billionaire has acquired 9.2% of the company, which is worth nearly $ 3 billion (2.3 billion pounds), according to a statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Oh hello, lol,” was his only tweet since the announcement, which resulted in Twitter shares rising more than 25 percent.
Mr. Musk is among Twitter’s most popular users, with over 80 million subscribers. He is also particularly prolific, using his account to share memes and update his life and campaigns.
However, these tweets have caused problems for Mr. Mask in the past. In 2018, for example, he tweeted that Tesla would become private – starting when he was being investigated by the SEC and losing the company’s chairmanship.
In recent weeks, Mr. Musk has used his account to post about Twitter itself and the rules that govern it.
On March 24, he tweeted that he was “concerned about the actual bias in the” Twitter algorithm, “which has a serious impact on public discourse” and shared a poll in which he asked his followers to vote on whether the algorithm should be open source.
A day later, he tweeted that “freedom of speech is important for a functioning democracy” and asked his followers whether they believed “Twitter strictly adheres to this principle.” After 70.4% of respondents voted wrong, he asked followers, “What should I do?”
Mr. Musk bought his shares of Twitter before the reports – documents to the SEC show the purchase took place on March 14 – although they were only revealed today.
Elon Musk bought a considerable stake in Twitter.
Last year, Tesla posted a job advertisement for a customer support specialist with responsibilities including handling complaints made against the South African-born American entrepreneur on social media.
In February, Musk tweeted a meme reaching the Canadian prime pastor, Justin Trudeau, to Adolf Hitler, which he deleted after it attracted widespread criticism. In December, he tweeted a meme showing the face of Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s new chief executive, over that of the former Russian dictator Joseph Stalin.
Musk has also been in trouble with the US financial markets regulator, the SEC, for posting tweets that have had significant ramifications for the companies he runs.
In 2018, he posted that he had “secured” funding to take Tesla private, which resulted in the SEC requiring Musk to get pre-approval for certain public communications relating to the electric car company’s share price. Musk settled with the SEC, paying a $20m fine and stepping down as Tesla’s chairman, saying it was “harassment” and an “unjustified action.”
While he was under investigation by the SEC, he smoked marijuana on a live web show, which resulted in a 6% fall in Tesla’s share price and the departure of two of its senior executives.
He angered the SEC again last year when he asked his Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his stake in Tesla – which resulted in a sharp fall in the company’s share price – leading to the US regulator issuing a subpoena to see if Musk was complying with its previous settlement.
Musk met his on-off partner Grimes, real name Claire Boucher, on Twitter. In 2020, he tweeted that the couple’s newborn son would instead cryptically be called X Æ A-12, and Grimes later explained the name in a social media post. The pair had two children, a girl named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, via surrogate in December.