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Why Elon Musk has Suddenly Gone Ballistic on Twitter

The time Musk devotes to online disagreements "has expanded dramatically".

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Elon Musk. IANS
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From attacking media to criticising nanotechnology researchers, SpaceX Founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made Twitter his new battleground, mostly replying to users rather than sharing original posts.

According to a Quartz report, Musk has steadily moved away from original posts and retweets to engaging with other Twitter users.

“In May, almost 80 per cent of Musk’s Twitter interactions consisted of replies rather than original posts or retweets,” said the report on Sunday.

Over the last two months, Musk’s tweeting has quadrupled, surging to nearly 400 in May.

“Prior to this month, his average tweets per month was 88 going back to September 2015 (median 84). Something is clearly different, and it’s not just the sheer number of tweets,” the report noted.

The time Musk devotes to online disagreements “has expanded dramatically”.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Amid all his firing tweets, Musk has been highly critical of media, and has even floated an idea of creating a media credibility rating website called “PravDuh!”

“The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them,” Musk tweeted recently.

Reacting to a user, Musk said last week that he would love to roll out Tesla cars in India but the tough government regulations have forced him to apply the brakes on his India plans till date.

“Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately,” Musk tweeted in a response to a Twitter user who wrote “No Tesla in India” to him.

Also Read: Report: Twitter Users Who Joined Before Age 13 Facing Ban

“Deepak Ahuja, our CFO, is from India. Tesla will be there as soon as he believes we should,” added Musk, who has been talking about bringing Tesla cars to India for some time.

Although he has garnered more followers — from 21.6 million to 21.9 million — in May, the public’s appetite for his new combativeness may be waning, said the report.

“While the average popularity of each tweet should naturally decline as the number of posts rises (and more are buried as replies), the drop has been precipitous, starting a few months before Musk’s latest outbursts. Despite far more followers, his tweets are attracting fewer fans,” the report added. (IANS)

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After Tearful Interview, Musk Plans for Providing Tesla Car to The Masses at $25,000

Musk's tweet caused a financial firestorm with Tesla shares immediately skyrocketing by almost 11 per cent, although in the coming days they lost a good part of what they had gained and tanked further after Musk's interview with the NYT

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'Tearful' Musk aims for $25,000 Tesla car for the masses. (VOA)

After giving a “tearful” interview to The New York Times, Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk sat with popular You Tuber Marques Brownlee for a chat, revealing his plans for a mass-market electric vehicle priced as low as $25,000.

“That’s something we could do. If we work really hard i think maybe we could do that in three years,” Musk replied to Brownlee (who goes by the handle @MKBHD on Google-owned YouTube) on Friday.

The interview took place on August 15 but a 17-minute video was uploaded by Brownlee on YouTube on Friday — a week after Musk tweeted about taking Tesla private with “funding secured” that created a storm at the Tesla board and amid market watchers.

According to The Verge, Musk said in the YouTube interview that he hoped to scale production at Tesla and lower their design and technology costs enough to be able to offer a truly mass-market electric vehicle.

Currently, the price for Tesla Model 3 starts from $35,000 and Model S from $75,000.

“Musk also expressed a desire to improve production to the point where Tesla can make two cars at once,” said the report. “We’ve really gotta figure out how to make two new vehicles at the same time,” Musk told Brownlee.

The YouTube interview came a day after Musk spoke to NYT about “excruciating” times at Tesla, noting that he “nearly missed his brother’s wedding this summer and spent his birthday holed up in Tesla’s offices as the company raced to meet elusive production targets on a crucial new model”.

Earlier this week, Musk confirmed that he is closely working with Goldman Sachs and private-equity firm Silver Lake to take the electric carmaker private — a deal that would need nearly $70 billion in funding.

Tesla CEO
According to Musk, “two thirds” of Tesla’s current stockholders would be interested in continuing to hold the firm’s shares once it goes private. (VOA)

“I’m excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private,” Musk tweeted.

Musk said that in late July, he met Saudi Arabian sovereign fund representatives to discuss the electric carmaker’s possible exit from the stock market.

He said in a statement that the Saudi sovereign fund had first contacted him “at the beginning of 2017 to express (their) interest because of the important need to diversify away from oil”.

“I continue to have discussions with the Saudi fund, and I also am having discussions with a number of other investors, which is something that I always planned to do since I would like for Tesla to continue to have a broad investor base,” he added.

He said he had most recently met with the Saudis on July 31 and left that meeting “with no question that a deal with the… fund could be closed, and that it was just a matter of getting the process moving”.

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“This is why I referred to ‘funding secured’ in the August 7 announcement,” he said, referring to his surprise tweet on that date that he was thinking about taking Tesla private.

According to Musk, “two thirds” of Tesla’s current stockholders would be interested in continuing to hold the firm’s shares once it goes private.

On August 7, Musk surprised the investment world with a Twitter announcement that he was considering taking Tesla private and that the funds needed to do so – which some financial analysts estimate at more than $70 billion – were “secured”.

Musk’s tweet caused a financial firestorm with Tesla shares immediately skyrocketing by almost 11 per cent, although in the coming days they lost a good part of what they had gained and tanked further after Musk’s interview with the NYT. (IANS)