Posts tagged with "Elon Musk"

King Charles’ Crown Estate is coming after Elon Musk’s Twitter over unpaid rent on London offices

January 25, 2023

Britain’s Crown Estate—an independent commercial business that manages the property portfolio belonging to the British monarch—has filed a case against Twitter over alleged unpaid rent at its London offices, reports Fortune Magazine.

Court lists showed the case against Twitter was filed at the High Court in London last week.

 

The Crown Estate, which is owned by King Charles III and administers thousands of acres of Crown-owned land across the United Kingdom, confirmed the action related to “rental arrears” over its premises at 20 Air Street, London. 

 

The 260-year-old company is one of the U.K.’s largest landowners—including 10 million square feet of property in London’s West End alone. Profits from the collection of land and buildings are collected by the British government, with $3 billion generated for public spending in the last 10 years. 

Since taking over Twitter last year, Elon Musk has been slashing costs, including cutting at least $1 billion in IT spending, auctioning surplus office furniture, and laying off more than half the workforce. 

 

Reports suggest that the tech giant’s London office near Piccadilly Circus has been deserted for some months, with Twitter signage and logos removed.

 

The British court case comes alongside similar trouble in the United States, where Twitter failed to pay almost $6.8 million rent on its San Francisco headquarters in December and January, according to a lawsuit filed by the landlord.

 

Sri Nine Market Square drew $3.6 million from Twitter’s security deposit to satisfy the payment missed in December, but Twitter still owes $3.1 million in unpaid rent for January.

 

Twitter leases over 460,000 square feet of space across eight floors in the San Francisco building, according to the complaint. 

 

The landlord is also seeking to increase Twitter’s letter of credit to $10 million, based on a clause in its lease triggered by the transfer of control of the company—but said Twitter has refused to do so.

 

Meanwhile, earlier this month another San Francisco landlord accused Elon Musk’s company of not paying rent. The owner of 650 California St.—Columbia REIT, an affiliate of Columbia Property Trust—accused the tech giant of dodging $136,260 in rent payments for use of the 30th floor, according to the lawsuit. 

 

Nonpayment has been reported as part of Musk’s overall business strategy to keep costs down. So far the approach has gone from skipping rent to refusing to pay for jet flights taken.

 

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Twitter said to consider selling user names to boost revenue

January 13, 2023

Twitter is considering selling user names through online auctions to generate new revenue as its owner, Elon Musk, tries to resuscitate the company’s business, according to two people with knowledge of the plan, reports The New York Times.

Twitter employees have held conversations about selling some user names for the service since at least December, the informants said. Engineers have discussed running online auctions where people can bid for the user names, which are the words, numbers—or string of characters that follow the @ sign—by which accounts are identified on the platform. Musk’s user name, for example, is @elonmusk.

It’s unclear if the project will move forward and if the plan would affect all user names or only a subset—but Musk said last month that he wanted to start eliminating inactive accounts on Twitter and free up 1.5 billion user names. Only certain user names—such as those of well-known people, brands, and popular names— may have value.

The social media company has been in turmoil since Musk bought it for $44 billion in October. Given the deal’s high price tag, the billionaire is under pressure to make the purchase a success.

Musk has since slashed expenses at Twitter—ordering layoffscutting other costs, and stopping vendor payments. At the same time, he has tried finding new avenues to make money as Twitter experiences a sharp downturn in ad revenue. He has come up with a revamped subscription plan under which users pay for verification badges, and the company has filed paperwork with the Treasury Department to process payments.

Research contact: @nytimes

Going down? Elon Musk’s drop in fortunes breaks world record

January 12, 2023

Elon Musk has broken the world record for the largest loss of personal fortune in history. From November 2021 through December 2022 he lost around US$165bn (£137bn), Guinness World Records has announced in a blog on its website.

The figures are based on data from publisher Forbes, but Guinness said other sources suggested Musk’s losses could have been higher. The drop in valuation follows a plunge in value of shares in Musk’s electric car firm Tesla after he bought Twitter last year.

His US$44bn (£36bn) takeover of the social media company has sparked concerns among investors that Musk is no longer giving Tesla enough attention, reports the BBC.

Musk’s losses since November 2021 surpass the previous record of US$58.6bn (£47bn), suffered by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son in 2000.

The estimated loss is based on the value of his shares, which could regain their value—meaning that Musk’s wealth would increase again.

In December, the Tesla boss lost his position as richest person in the world to Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of French luxury goods company LVMH, which owns fashion label Louis Vuitton.

The value of Tesla shares dropped around 65% in 2022, in part because of Tesla’s performance. The firm delivered just 1.3 million vehicles during the year—falling short of Wall Street expectations.

However, Musk’s takeover of Twitter—where he has sparked controversy by firing large numbers of staff and changing content moderation policies—is behind most of the share slump.

Many Tesla investors believe he should be focusing on the electric vehicle company as it faces falling demand amid recession fears, rising competition, and COVID-linked production challenges.

“Long-term fundamentals [at Tesla] are extremely strong. Short-term market madness is unpredictable,” Musk tweeted after the stock markets closed for the year in December 2022.

Musk is now worth about US$178bn (£152bn), according to Forbes, while Bernard Arnault has an estimated value of US$188bn (£155bn).

Research contact: @BBCNews

Jewish allies call Trump’s dinner with antisemites a breaking point

November 30, 2022

For much of Donald Trump’s presidency, Jewish Republicans rationalized away the bigoted fringe of Trump’s coalition—arguing that the unsavory supporters in his midst and the antisemitic tropes he deployed paled in comparison with the staunchly pro-Israel policies of his administration, reports The New York Times.

But last week, Trump dined at his Palm Beach palace, Mar-a-Lago, with the performer Kanye West, who had already been denounced for making antisemitic statements, and with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite and Holocaust denier, granting the antisemitic fringe a place of honor at his table. Now, even some of Trump’s staunchest supporters say they can no longer ignore the abetting of bigotry by the nominal leader of the Republican Party.

“I am a child of survivors. I have become very frightened for my people,” Morton Klein, head of the right-wing Zionist Organization of America, said on Monday, November 28—referring to his parents’ survival of the Holocaust. “Donald Trump is not an antisemite. He loves Israel. He loves Jews. But he mainstreams; he legitimizes Jew hatred and Jew haters. And this scares me.”

Not all Republican leaders have spoken out, but Jewish Republicans are slowly peeling away from a former president who, for years, insisted he had no ties to the bigoted far right, but refused to repudiate it. Jewish figures and organizations that have stood by Trump—from Klein’s group to the pro-Trump commentator Ben Shapiro to Trump’s own former ambassador to Israel and onetime bankruptcy lawyer, David M. Friedman—all have spoken out since the dinner.

For Jews, the concern extends far beyond a single meal at Mar-a-Lago, although that dinner has become a touchstone, especially for Jewish Republicans.

“We have a long history in this country of separating the moral character of the man in the White House from his conduct in office, but with Trump, it’s gone beyond any of the reasonably acceptable and justifiable norms,” Jay Lefkowitz, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and a supporter of many of Trump’s policies, said on Monday.

For American Jewry, the debate since the dinner has brought into focus what may be the most discomfiting moment in U.S. history in a half-century or more.

“The normalization of antisemitism is here,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League.

On Monday afternoon, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader, went to the Senate floor to denounce Trump’s actions as “disgusting and dangerous,” then called them “pure evil.”

West, a figure with an enormous following, has espoused hatred of the Jews. The basketball star Kyrie Irving has spread antisemitic views with a tweet, though he eventually apologized. Neo-Nazis are returning to Twitter, bringing memes and coded messages not seen for years, now that its new owner, Elon Musk, has reinstated accounts that had been blocked for bigotry.

“The level of antisemitism being expressed, antisemitic acts at a very elevated level, and the acceptability of antisemitism — it is all creating an environment which is, thank God, unusual for the United States, and it has to be nipped in the bud. That’s it. That’s the moment we’re in,” said Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, which represents the branch of Judaism that has been most supportive of Trump.

Now, West has promised on Twitter to “go death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE.” The comedian Dave Chappelle delivered a stinging monologue on “Saturday Night Live” on “the Jews” and their numbers in Hollywood. And at the same time, American Jewry is divided over whether denunciations of Trump might harm American policy toward Israel, should he return to power, Peter Hayes, a Northwestern University historian, said.

“The more people prioritize Israel, the more they are willing to make excuses for Trump, and that just makes me sad,” he said.

Research contact: @nytimes

A beginner’s guide to Mastodon, the Twitter alternative that’s taking off

November 10, 2022

If you’ve heard the word, “mastodon,” a lot since Elon Musk took over Twitter in late October, here’s why: The extinct mammal is also the name of a relatively small, formerly little-known social network that has skyrocketed in popularity, as many Twitter users try it out as an alternative for connecting with others online, reports CNN.

Mastodon is a decentralized social network that enables users to join a slew of different servers run by various groups and individuals, rather than one central platform controlled by a single company like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

While all of these social networks are free to use, Mastodon is also free of ads. It’s developed by a nonprofit run by German software developer Eugen Rochkov, who created Mastodon in 2016. The site is supported via crowdfunding, as well as by individuals and groups who operate servers.

Users have been fleeing Twitter for it in recent days—or at least seeking out a second place to post their thoughts online during a time when the much more well-known social network faces layoffs, controversial product changes, an expected shift in its approach to content moderation, and a jump in hateful rhetoric.

In a Mastodon post late on Sunday, November 6, Rochko said the social network gained 489,000 users in the less than two weeks, and now boasts over one million active monthly users. (For perspective, Twitter reported in July that it had nearly 238 million daily active monetizable users.)

“That’s pretty cool,” Rochko said of the milestone.

But while it can be exciting to seek out a new social network, it can be tricky, too. Mastodon and Twitter have some similarities, yet they’re quite different — both in how they work and how they’re operated. Whether you’re interested in leaving Twitter or just want to check out something new, read on to find out how to sign up and thrive with Mastodon.

Things are the same, but also very different

A lot of Mastodon’s features and layout (particularly in its iOS and Android apps) will look familiar to current Twitter users, with some slightly different verbiage. You can follow others, create short posts (there’s a 500-character limit, and you can upload images and videos), favorite, or repost other users’ posts, and so on.

Mastodon is quite different though, and the sign-up process, in particular, can trip up new users. That’s because it’s not as simple as opening an app or webpage and setting up a username and password. You also need to choose a server where your Mastodon account will live.

First, don’t panic: There is no technical knowledge required to sign up, but you will have to follow a few steps to create your account—and you may have to be patient, as the influx of new users has put a strain on many servers.

Go to this webpage, and, if you want to get started quickly, click the little drop-down menu that says “sign-up speed” and set it to “instant” to see servers you can sign up with right away.

Then, pick a server. There are general-interest servers such as mastodon.world; regional servers like sfba.social, which is aimed at people in the San Francisco Bay Area; and ones aimed at various interests, too (many servers review new sign-ups before approving them—such as by asking potential users why they want to join—so you may need to wait if you want to join one in particular).

You’ll also need to decide how you want to access Mastodon—on a smartphone, you will want to try the iOS or Android app, but there are also many other free and paid apps that will do the trick. On the web, I can access Mastodon via the server I’m signed up with.

Finding friends

One of the trickiest aspects of joining Mastodon could be finding people you know and discovering people you want to follow. In part, that’s because there are no algorithmically generated suggestions of who to follow, no scanning your contacts for people you know, and you may not know who among the people you follow on other social-media networks is already using Mastodon (or what handle they’re using if they’re already there).

Similar to Twitter, you can use hashtags on Mastodon to seek out topics and people (“#TwitterMigration” is currently popular for newcomers). There are also some tools you can use to find Twitter friends on Mastodon, such as Twitodon.

Once you’ve settled in with a server and a handful of people to follow, you’ll want to start reading others’ posts and posting yourself. You’ll quickly notice many subtle differences from Twitter. For instance, users’ updates are sorted chronologically, rather than algorithmically as they are on Twitter and many other social networks.

There also isn’t a Mastodon equivalent to Twitter’s quote-tweet feature, where you can repost another user’s post and append your own thoughts to it. The closest you can get is copying and pasting a link to a user’s post into a new post and adding your own comments—although anyone seeing your post will have to click that link if they want to understand what you’re talking about.

These differences aren’t bad, and some of them actually may be good: It can make posting on Mastodon feel a little less reactive than Twitter, which is great for anyone prone to getting fired up by other people’s social media posts. And many of the people trying out Mastodon seem ready for a change.

Research contact: @CNN

Elon Musk takes over at Twitter—and fires top execs

October 31, 2022

Elon Musk paid a visit to Twitter’s headquarters on Wednesday, October 26, ahead of an end-of-week deadline to close his deal to buy the company—posting a video of himself in the company’s San Francisco lobby carrying a sink, reports The Guardian.

“Entering Twitter HQ—let that sink in!” he tweeted. Musk also changed his Twitter profile to refer to himself as “Chief Twit” and his location as Twitter headquarters.

The new CEO didn’t waste any time taking charge—firing several Twitter executives after completing his takeover of the company, according to people familiar with the matter.  Vijaya Gadde, the woman behind former President Donald Trump’s Twitter suspension, was among the first to go.

Indeed, according to The Wall Street Journal, in a message to advertisers on Twitter on Thursday, October 27, Musk said he was buying the company to “have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.” He said Twitter “cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”

A self-described free-speech absolutist, Musk has pledged to limit content moderation in favor of emphasizing free speech. However, that approach risks causing conflicts with some advertisers, politicians, and users who would prefer a more-moderated platform.

Musk said the platform must be “warm and welcoming to all” and suggested Twitter could let people “choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play videogames ranging from all ages to mature.”

Musk also fired Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and Sean Edgett, general counsel. Spokespersons for Twitter didn’t comment.

Hours after those actions, Musk tweeted “the bird is freed” in a seeming reference to Twitter, which has a blue bird as its logo. A Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday, October 28, confirmed the deal closed Thursday, and that Twitter is now part of Musk’s X Holdings, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Musk first agreed to buy Twitter in April for $44 billion, then threatened to walk away from the deal, before reversing course this month and committing to see through the acquisition.

He previously indicated unhappiness with some of the top ranks at Twitter, at one point responding to a tweet from Agrawal with a poop emoji. He also used the site to mock Gadde, the top legal boss—tweeting an image overlaid with text that repeated allegations Twitter had a left-wing political bias.

It wasn’t immediately clear who would step into the top positions left vacant by Thursday’s exits. CNBC earlier reported the departures of Agrawal and Segal.

The deal, in which Twitter will again become a private company, adds to Musk’s expansive business reach, which includes running Tesla, the world’s most-valuable car company; and rocket company SpaceX, among other endeavors.

Musk, who has become Twitter’s largest individual shareholder, previously said he would pay for the acquisition mostly with cash, some contributed by co-investors, and $13 billion in debt.

Research contact: @guardian

‘Deepfakes’ of celebrities have begun appearing in ads, with or without permission

October 27, 2022

Digital simulations of Elon Musk, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others have shown up in ads, as the image-melding technology grows more popular—and presents the marketing industry with new legal and ethical questions, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

Among the recent entries: Last year, Russian telecommunications company MegaFon released a commercial in which a simulacrum of Hollywood legend Bruce Willis helps defuse a bomb. And just last week, Elon Musk seemed to star in a marketing video from real-estate investment startup reAlpha Tech.

What’s more, last month, a promotional video for machine-learning firm Paperspace showed talking semblances of the actors Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The curveball: None of these celebrities ever spent a moment filming these campaigns. In the cases of Musk, Cruise, and DiCaprio, they never even agreed to endorse the companies in question.

All the videos of digital simulations were created with so-called deepfake technology, which uses computer-generated renditions to make the Hollywood and business notables say and do things they never actually said or did.

Some of the ads are broad parodies—and the meshing of the digital to the analog in the best of cases might not fool an alert viewer. Even so, the growing adoption of deepfake software could eventually shape the industry in profound ways while creating new legal and ethical questions, experts said.

Authorized deepfakes could allow marketers to feature huge stars in ads without requiring them to actually appear on-set or before cameras—thereby bringing down costs and opening new creative possibilities.

But unauthorized, they create a legal gray area: Celebrities could struggle to contain a proliferation of unauthorized digital reproductions of themselves and the manipulation of their brand and reputation, experts said.

“We’re having a hard enough time with fake information. Now we have deepfakes, which look ever more convincing,” said Ari Lightman, professor of  Digital Media and Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy.

U.S. lawmakers have begun to address the deepfake phenomenon. In 2019, Virginia outlawed the use of deepfakes in so-called revenge porn; Texas outlawed them in political campaigns; and California banned them in both. Last year, the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act instructed the Department of Homeland Security to produce annual reports on threats posed by the technology.

But experts said they aren’t aware of laws specifically addressing the use of deepfakes in commercials.

Celebrities have had some success suing advertisers for the unauthorized use of their images under so-called right of publicity laws, said Aaron Moss, chair of the Litigation Department at law firm Greenberg Glusker. He cited Woody Allen’s $5 million settlement with American Apparel in 2009 over the director’s unapproved appearance on a billboard advertising the risqué clothing brand.

Both Paperspace and reAlpha had lawyers review the videos and took steps to ensure that viewers understood that the celebrities depicted didn’t actually endorse the companies’ products or participate in the making of the videos, the companies said.

The Paperspace video originally appeared on its own website and was designed to educate users about deepfake technology, said COO Daniel Kobran.

The Musk video by reAlpha included “robust disclaimers” establishing it as satire, said CMO Christie Currie. So did a similar video reAlpha released last year, in which an ersatz version of the Tesla chief sat in a bubble bath and explained the concept of Regulation A+ investing, or equity crowdfunding.

“There’s obviously always a little bit of risk with any parody type of content,” Currie said in an interview, “but generally as long as it’s meant to be educational, satirical, and you have disclaimers in place, there shouldn’t be a problem as long as you’re not pushing a transaction.”

The likelihood that someone of Mr. Musk’s stature would sue a startup for a deepfake video is low, and those companies might decide the risk is well worth the considerable publicity it would generate for them, Moss said.

“A lot of these companies purposefully get as close to the line as possible in order to almost troll the celebrities they’re targeting,” he said.

Research contact: @WSJ

Twitter’s former security chief accuses it of ‘egregious deficiencies’

August 24, 2022

Twitter’s former head of security has accused the company of “extreme, egregious deficiencies” in its spam- and hacker-fighting practices, according to a whistle-blower complaint, reports The New York Times.

The complaints by Peiter Zatko, the former executive, said that the shortcomings in enforcing security, privacy, and content moderation policies dated to 2011.

Zatko, a well-known hacker who is known in the security community as Mudge, joined Twitter in late 2020 and was terminated by the company in January of this year.

His complaints were sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Justice Department, and Federal Trade Commission on July 6. The Washington Post and CNN first reported on the complaints.

Zatko accuses Twitter, its CEO Parag Agrawal, and other executives and directors of “extensive legal violations,” including making misleading statements to users, misrepresentations to investors and acting with “negligence and even complicity” toward efforts by foreign governments to infiltrate the platform, according to the complaint filed with the SEC, which was obtained by The New York Times.

The allegations come at a perilous time for Twitter, which is locked in a legal battle with Elon Musk over his efforts to walk away from a $44 billion agreement to acquire the social media company. Twitter has sued Musk to force him to close the deal, and the two sides are set to go to trial at the Delaware Chancery Court in October.

The complaints put forward by Zatko and Musk are in some ways similar—focusing on the number of fake users on Twitter’s website. Musk claims that Twitter’s public disclosures about those figures are materially misleading.

Perhaps most damaging, if true, is Zatko’s allegation that Twitter is in violation of its 2011 settlement with the FTC over its safeguarding of user information. The agency had accused Twitter of “serious lapses” in data security that “allowed hackers to obtain unauthorized administrative control of Twitter” including the ability to send out phony tweets.

A spokesperson for Twitter said Zatko was fired for ineffective leadership and poor performance. “What we’ve seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context,” she said.

“Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing,” she said, “appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers, and its shareholders. Security and privacy have long been companywide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Elon Musk’s Chinese doppelgänger, Yilong Ma, is suspended from nation’s versions of TikTok, Twitter

May 20, 2022

Elon Musk‘s viral Chinese doppelgänger, Yilong Ma, appears to have been suspended on the Chinese versions of TikTok and Twitter, reports Business Insider. 

At press time, Insider saw that Ma’s page on Douyin—China’s version of TikTok —had been purged of all content. At the same time, a content-restriction notification citing a violation of the platform’s policies was slapped on Ma’s page on Weibo, the country’s Twitter-like platform.

Representatives from Douyin’s parent company, Bytedance, and Weibo’s parent company, Sina, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

In a response to press queries from Insider, Ma said he had not received an appropriate explanation from Weibo or Douyin on why his account was suspended. At press time, he had not responded to a follow-up request from Insider to verify via video call if he truly resembled Musk.

At press time, Ma’s page on the international version of TikTok, where he is known by the username “Elong Musk,” was still active. Ma has more than 239,000 followers on the platform, with about 3.9 million likes on his videos.

“All platform videos are ported, I only have TikTok. I love you,” said the profile description on Ma’s TikTok page. Ma first went viral on Douyin  in November 2020 for videos that appeared to show a striking resemblance to Musk. He later attracted the attention of Musk when the Tesla CEO quipped in response to a clip of Ma that he, too, may be “partly Chinese.”

Ma subsequently uploaded several videos on TikTok, including one in which he expressed his thoughts on Musk’s high-profile acquisition of Twitter. In this clip, he points excitedly at a printout of the Twitter icon, calling it “my bird!”

Ma’s latest video on TikTok is a photo compilation of him posing in front of a Tesla, captioned: “I want to take my brother for a ride in my Tesla! #elonmusk #tesla.”

Ma’s popularity later led to the Tesla CEO saying he would like to meet Ma in person. “I’d like to meet this guy (if he is real),” Musk tweeted. “Hard to tell with deepfakes these days.”

“I am here. I want very much to see you too! I love you, you are my hero,” Ma wrote in response to the billionaire in a post on Weibo.

Research contact: @BusinessInsider

(April Fools!) Elon Musk is not joining Twitter’s board, after all

April 12, 2022

Twitter’s top brass thought one of the platform’s top trolls had decided to join their ranks, but in the end he was just trolling them, too, reports The Daily Beast.

Late Sunday the social media company’s CEO, Parag Agrawaltweeted that Elon Musk would not join Twitter’s board—reversing a much-publicized plan announced April 5. Musk had revealed around the same time that he had bought up a 9.2% stake in the business, becoming its largest shareholder in the process.

“Elon’s appointment to the board was to become officially effective 4/9, but Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board. I believe this is for the best,” Agrawal wrote. Seemingly alluding to Musk’s provocations and the accompanying media fervor, Agrawal added, “There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged.”

Musk, for his part, simply tweeted a version of the following emoji: 🤭.

Agrawal’s comments marked a dramatic change in tone from his tweets on April 5, when he said that Musk was “both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service, which is exactly what we need on @Twitter, and in the boardroom.”

Days later, Musk spent part of the weekend polling his followers about ways to change Twitter, in forms both serious and farcical.

“Delete the w in twitter?” he asked on Sunday. The poll’s two possible answers: “Yes” and “Of course.”

Separately, Musk mulled whether Twitter’s headquarters should be converted into a homeless shelter and offered policy suggestions for the company’s paid membership service, Twitter Blue, including a new type of verification badge.

Musk was perhaps dissuaded from joining the board because of a stipulation that would have banned him from acquiring more than a 14.9% ownership stake in the business. To some spectators, including Musk’s legion of followers on Twitter, the provision suggested that the company’s leadership team merely wanted to restrict how much influence he could amass.

Musk had polled his followers in March about whether Twitter was adhering to principles of free speech (more than 70% said no). When news of his investment subsequently became public, it seemed that he had bought stock in response to their feedback.

In fact, filings show, he started buying shares at least as far back as January.

Over the years, Musk has used the platform to announce official news from his main companies, Tesla and SpaceX; to sound off on critics; and to troll the internet. That has landed him in hot water a number of times.

Most infamously, in 2018 he declared that he was considering taking the electric automaker private at a price of $420 per share—sending the company’s stock on a wild ride.

The Securities and Exchange Commission was not amused, particularly after it determined that Musk had not truly had the “funding secured,” as he suggested. He eventually settled with the agency, paid a $20 million fine, and stepped down as Tesla’s chairman.

But his Twitter fingers haven’t slowed down since.

Research contact: @thedailybeast