Elon Musk is no stranger to Twitter which he frequently uses to communicate his ideas and thoughts to his legions of followers (34 million to be exact).
He’s often trending in the news for all the impressive advances he continues to make to our society through one of his numerous companies.
However, recently he’s been making headlines for some eccentric behavior. From Twitter tirades about the country’s response to the pandemic to giving his newborn a name that some would argue is better suited for a spacecraft, many are now asking, “what is going on with Elon Musk?”
An enterprising (and a bit eccentric) entrepreneur
Named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine and ranked by Forbes as the 24th richest person in the world, Musk is renowned for being an innovative leader at the head of cutting edge companies like Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and OpenAI.
Take inventory of the industries and concepts Musk is known for working on: Flying and self-driving cars, AI implants for the human brain, a SpaceX program to make space flight more accessible to us Earthlings – there’s no doubt that the list reads more like a futuristic sci-fi novel.
Naturally then, it stands to reason that someone so innovative and successful in these out-of-this-world projects (literally) will fall under a certain amount of scrutiny and criticism.
A social media soapbox
“The coronavirus panic is dumb,” Musk announced on Twitter on March 6.
Over the next few weeks, Musk continued to make it clear where he stood on the “forced isolation” he felt was taking place due to government lockdown regulations imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
However, what seemed to start off as harmless criticism grew into the sharing of questionable theories, and what some deemed to be the spreading of misinformation.
On March 16, he suggested hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 – the unproven and possibly dangerous anti-malarial drug that has also been endorsed by United States President Donald Trump.
Three days later, he tweeted his theory that the US would register “close to zero” new cases of coronavirus by the end of April. However, throughout April reported new cases were between 25,000 and 36,000 per day.
In May, he began tweeting lines from the Star Spangled Banner and demanded that people were given back their freedom. And not long after, Musk announced that Tesla would be disregarding Alameda County ordinances and begin production in spite of the possible legal consequences.
Faith in Musk’s stewardship of the company was further shaken when he tweeted “Tesla stock price is too high imo” which immediately resulted in a sharp drop in Tesla’s share price.
Musk’s Twitter habits have caused enough concern in the past that part of his settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2018 included having his Tesla-related tweets preapproved by a company lawyer.
Despite this though, the SEC have determined that Musk has already been in violation of this arrangement on more than one occasion.
Curiouser and curiouser
On May 1, Musk tweeted that he planned to sell all of his possessions, stating he “will own no house.”
When one follower asked him why, he responded “Don’t need the cash. Devoting myself to Mars and Earth. Possession(s) just weigh you down.”
He proceeded to put several of his lavish mansions on the market, with the exception of a home that formerly belonged to Gene Wilder.
This also came with a Twitter announcement that he and girlfriend Grimes were expecting a baby the following Monday. And on May 6, Musk and Grimes confirmed the birth of their son.
The name of choice? X Æ A-12.
More recently however, Musk seems to have settled down.
Aside from a tweet critiquing “cancel culture,” he seems to now be more preoccupied with the latest developments in SpaceX’s upcoming launch of Crew Dragon in the Falcon 9 scheduled for Wednesday this week.
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