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Elon Musk’s shock message to 45.9 million followers

WASHINGTON DC, USA - MARCH 9: Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, speaks during the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, DC, United States on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Elon Musk. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Billionaire entrepreneur and world’s richest man Elon Musk has announced he is taking a break from Twitter, after a series of tweets triggering market shockwaves.

“Off Twitter for a while,” he said on Tuesday local time, and has not tweeted since. His tweets have triggered several rallies in recent week.

In January alone, Musk sent shares in Etsy (ETSY) up 10 per cent and medical device company Signal (SIGL) up 1,500 per cent – even though he was referencing a different company, the high-security Signal messaging platform.

On Sunday, Musk tweeted about going on Clubhouse, sending shares in Clubhouse Media Group up 45 per cent – even though he was, again, talking about a different company.

And when Musk added #bitcoin to his Twitter bio, the cryptocurrency leaped 15 per cent.

Shares in Japanese video game maker, Bandai Namco, also gained 4 per cent after Musk tweeted a meme featuring one of its characters.

Musk also fuelled the GameStop frenzy with one word: “Gamestonk!!” Shares soared 157 per cent last Wednesday after that tweet.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder has stepped away from Twitter before, announcing in June that he would take a break, only to return two days later.

And in 2019, the US$188.3 billion man said he would quit Twitter altogether, before making a return three days later.

Pockmarked history with Twitter

Musk’s erratic tweets have landed him in trouble with the regulators in recent years, forcing Musk to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September 2018 after tweeting plans to take Tesla private.

He also ran into issues when he tweeted a projection about Tesla vehicle production that the SEC said violated the terms of their agreement.

And in March 2019, the SEC and Musk reached an agreement that would allow the CEO to use Twitter, provided that any tweets about financial milestones or major financial events to do with his companies are pre-approved by a securities lawyer.

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