Elon Musk, the boss of automaker Tesla, announced on Friday in a few terse tweets that he was leaving the social network Twitter, without going back on the many scandals he has aroused by his controversial messages in recent years.
"Not sure that Twitter is good", "Reddit still looks good" and "I disconnect", tweeted the whimsical billionaire, without giving any more explanation.
Usually, Elon Musk is particularly fond of this means of communicating directly with the public. He post messages every day, several times a day, mainly about his business but also jokes and comments on all kinds of topics.
But the US Stock Exchange Constable (SEC) accuses him of multiplying tweets whose content was likely to mislead investors and influence the price of the Tesla stock.
The standoff between the boss and the SEC was born after a tweet of August 7, 2018 where the contractor assured to have the appropriate financing to get Tesla out of the stock market listing. This statement had sparked the action and made a lot of money lost to investors who bet on the collapse of the group. The two parties reached an amicable settlement in October 2018. A few days later, Elon Musk had called the SEC the "Speculators Enrichment Commission" on Twitter.
Last spring, after a new misleading statement, this time on the number of cars that Tesla would produce in 2019, a new agreement is found with the authority of the financial markets: the co-founder of Tesla agrees to validate his messages related to the manufacturer of electric vehicles before publishing them.
Complaint after qualifying a pedophile speleologist
But his sweeping statements on the social network have earned him another legal case, in parallel. He is being sued in defamation by a British speleologist whom he described as a pedophile on Twitter.
Elon Musk attacked the scientist after he called a "publicity stunt" the failed bid by the boss of Tesla to send a miniature submarine to help rescue the 12 young trapped by rising water.
Faced with the outcry provoked by his comments on Twitter, the boss had apologized to the spelunker and erased the offensive messages. His third – and for now – tweet, "going offline", has generated more than 2,700 responses in 5 hours, with messages ranging from sadness ("we miss you already"), humor (a photo of military salute) and despair ("God has abandoned us").