Pressure from Tesla Stockholders? Is Elon Musk "Off Twitter" for Good?
On June 2, 2020, at 10:54 AM (GMT +8), Elon Musk announced to the Twitterverse of his departure from Twitter. The tweet only had one phrase in it. It reads out as "Off Twitter for a while". Elon Musk's Twitter followers expressed varied emotions. Some Twitter users thought of Elon Musk as a coward for signing off from Twitter during one of America's most vulnerable times, considering the George Floyd incident.
Politicians such as Jon Cooper told Elon Musk through Twitter to go f*** himself and that he sold his soul. Others were quite supportive of Elon Musk's decision. People have expressed that the world needs to go offline from social media once in a while and also have greatly acknowledged Elon Musk's response to the #JusticeForGeorge movement.
The reason for Elon Musk's departure from Twitter may not be so simple despite all the controversies that arose from Musk's tweet.
Sources say that Tesla shareholders have wanted Elon Musk to go offline from Twitter since last year. Some Tesla shareholders have filed a case against Elon Musk to prohibit him from utilizing his public Twitter account. They claim to have done this because Elon Musk uses Twitter as an online platform to broadcast information on Tesla's activities.
Vice-Chancellor Joseph Slights III, the judge in charge of the Tesla case, stated that the Tesla shareholders have only provided inadequate reasons for this issue. The court will not be proceeding with the lawsuit against Elon Musk.
The case against Elon Musk has been put on hold since its court filing last year. This is because other affairs against Elon Musk were in motion. Federal security fraud issues were unresolved at the time so the court decided to focus on that.
Moreover, the Securities and Exchange Commission (or the SEC) filed a motion against Elon Musk last year. This is because Elon Musk released a tweet about Tesla's goal for the vehicle production department for the year 2019. The tweet was released on February 20, 2019.
Elon Musk Twitter
Elon Musk tweeted that, back in 2011, Tesla has not made any cars. In 2019, however, he stated that Tesla would be producing 500,000 vehicles for the whole year of 2019. The SEC filed a case against Elon Musk because the tweet triggered a violation in a 2018 Tesla settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The settlement came into an agreement with Tesla to facilitate Elon Musk's tweets. This is because any public exposure of the activities of Tesla can alter Tesla stocks. Another incident in which the settlement between the SEC and Tesla was used for is when the SEC took legal action against Elon Musk regarding his tweet about him handling the finances of Tesla. The tweet held false allegations and was apprehended by the SEC.
This motion by the SEC was settled in April 2019. Elon Musk was required to request ahead of time if he were to tweet about the financial status of Tesla.
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