Tesla founder Elon Musk is “going offline,” or at least that’s what he posted online.
On Friday morning. Musk tweeted “Not sure about good of Twitter” followed by “Reddit still seems good,” and then finally “Going offline.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2019
Musk routinely uses Twitter as a way to communicate with Tesla customers but has a mixed relationship with the platform. Early this year he came under fire from the Securities and Exchange Commission when he tweeted in February that he thought Tesla would make around 500,000 cars in 2019.
At the time of the tweet he had an agreement with the SEC to not tweet material that should be sent first to investors, an agreement he made after tweeting in late 2018 “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” He followed that tweet up by saying “Investor support is confirmed. Only reason why this is not certain is that it’s contingent on a shareholder vote.”
It was a series of tweets that obviously had an impact on Tesla’s share price shares at the time.
The timing of this latest tweet is particularly interesting because it comes the same week that Twitter announced it plans to no longer post political ads on the platform.
In the announcement, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said “we believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” a direct contrast to statements made by Facebook the week prior.
In the case of Twitter, Dorsey saw reach as being earned when a political candidate is able to obtain followers on their own, or when their message is retweeted by supporters. By allowing politicians to pay for those ads, and optimize them, Twitter was in effect devaluing that earned support.
“While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions,” Dorsey tweeted. “We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers … We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough.”
Twitter’s ban on political ads goes into effect on November 22. It’s unclear how long Musk’s “offline” status will last.
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