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Elon Musk took part in a tweetstorm over the weekend, where he provoked several criticisms of Twitter. But the Tesla and SpaceX CEO appears to have deleted several of his most spicy footage, as he has dropped his plan to join the social media company’s board.
Musk’s tweets included suggestions on how to transform Twitter and its products. On Saturday, he asked his approximately 81 million Twitter followers to vote on whether the company should turn its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter.
In another recently deleted tweet, Musk suggested that Twitter Blue subscribers should be allowed to pay with dogecoin, get an “approval” tick and keep the offer free of ads.
“Everyone who signs up for Twitter Blue (ie pays $ 3 / month) should get an authentication badge,” Musk wrote. “And no ads. Companies’ power to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter relies on advertising money to survive.”
Musk aired a separate poll, which has since been deleted, asking people to vote on whether Twitter should drop “w” one from its name.
It’s unclear why Musk deleted the tweets, and he did not respond to a request for comment. A Twitter spokesman declined to comment.
Even before revealing a 9% stake in the company last week and then briefly agreeing to become a member of the company’s board, Musk has had a long and complicated relationship with Twitter as a communication tool.
In 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Musk of making “false and misleading” statements to investors when he announced via Twitter that he had secured financing to take Tesla privately to $ 420 per share. Musk and Tesla eventually agreed on a settlement with the government, which was later revised.
Under the arrangement, Musk and Tesla would each have to pay $ 20 million in fines to the SEC. In addition, Musk could no longer be chairman of Tesla, and he had to have tweets with essential business information examined before they could be made public. Musk and his brother, Kimbal, another board member of Tesla and SpaceX, are also being investigated by the SEC because of their tweets and trade.
The latest spectacle began on April 4, when Musk revealed his Twitter share in an application. To the surprise of investors, he had suddenly become the company’s largest shareholder. The stock rose 27% on the news.
The next day, Twitter announced that Musk would join Twitter’s board.
But that agreement was quickly resolved. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted Sunday night that Musk informed the company over the weekend that he would not be a board member anyway.
“There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged,” Agrawal wrote.
Since he does not join the board, Musk is no longer limited to owning only 14.9% of the company that had been part of the deal. Now analysts are wondering whether Musk will strengthen its stake in Twitter and potentially pursue a hostile takeover.
A person in a mask approaches New York’s Twitter offices after announcing that they will close their reopened offices with immediate effect in response to updated CDC guidelines during the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, USA July 29, 2021.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters
As for deleting tweets, it’s an action that Musk has taken in the past.
Earlier this year, he deleted an offensive meme comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler. And in 2018, he removed a violent tweet that included a picture of Miley Cyrus tweeting on stage at a music awards show, and Musk’s comment: “They’re growing up so fast.”
The recent deletions are different because the tweets directly related to a business that Musk had just backed for billions of dollars.
Still, some of his controversial comments remain on the page. Musk did not delete one of his weekend tweets, asking if Twitter is “dying”. In the post, he pointed out that some of Twitter’s most popular users, including Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, rarely tweet.
On Monday, he also liked a tweet that said, “Let me break this down for you: Elon became the largest shareholder for Freedom of Expression. Elon was told to play nice and not speak freely.”
Meanwhile, Musk is fighting a legal battle to keep one of his older tweets up. In 2021, the National Labor Relations Board ordered Tesla to get Musk to delete a 2018 tweet that was seen as threatening to work organizers in the company.
The tweet read: “Nothing is stopping the Tesla team at our car factory from voting union. Could do it tmrw if they wanted to. But why pay union dues and give up stock options for nothing?”
Tesla has appealed the decision of the administrative court.
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