Elon Musk


    Elon Musk is asking a California judge to throw out a lawsuit filed against him by a British diver the tech entrepreneur called a pedophile on Twitter, arguing that it was nothing more than a “schoolyard spat on social media” that no reasonable reader took seriously.

    Musk’s motion to dismiss, filed in court on Wednesday, argues that “the public knew from the outset that Musk’s insults were not intended to be statements of fact.”

    Musk called diver Vernon Unsworth a “pedo” in a tweet to 22.5 million followers after Unsworth criticized Musk on CNN in July, saying his efforts to help rescue young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand amounted to “a PR stunt.”

    Musk and engineers from his rocket company, SpaceX, built a small submarine and shipped it to Thailand to help with the rescue. The device wasn’t used and Unsworth said on CNN that it wouldn’t have worked to free the boys who were trapped in the flooded cave.

    He added: “(Musk) can stick his submarine somewhere where it hurts.”

    Musk later deleted his tweets about Unsworth and apologized, tweeting that his words were “spoken in anger” and that the sub was built out of kindness according to specifications from the dive team leader.

    But on Aug. 30, Musk emailed a BuzzFeed News reporter, suggesting he investigate Unsworth and “stop defending child rapists,” according to the lawsuit.

    “He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years,” Musk wrote, adding that Unsworth moved to Thailand “for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time,” according to the lawsuit.

    “Mr. Unsworth is not a pedophile. Mr. Unsworth has never engaged in an act of pedophilia. Mr. Unsworth is not a child rapist,” the lawsuit said, adding that Unsworth has never been married to a minor.

    Unsworth lives in Thailand with his “significant other,” a 40-year-old woman, and started going to Thailand in 2011 to explore and map caves, the lawsuit said.

    Musk’s motion to dismiss argues that the email to BuzzFeed was supposed to be off the record, but the news outlet reported at the time that its reporters had made no such agreement — a standard practice among journalists before publishing anything without attribution.

    “While many readers criticized Musk for lodging what they understood to be groundless accusations, not a single reader seemed to construe Musk’s statements literally,” Musk’s attorneys wrote.

    The attorneys are arguing that reasonable readers would not take any of Musk’s statements as objective facts but rather, “nonactionable opinion.”

    “Here, the reasonable reader would not have believed that Musk — without having ever met Unsworth, in the midst of a schoolyard spat on social media, and from 8,000 miles afar — was conveying that he was in possession of private knowledge that Unsworth was sexually attracted to children or engaged in sex acts with children,” according to Musk’s filing.

    Musk’s statements were simply “imaginative attacks,” and even if they were offensive, such insults are protected by the First Amendment, the filing said.

    “(Readers) contemporaneously recognized Musk’s comments for what they were: over-the-top insults not driven by first-hand knowledge,” it said.

  • Majority Of Elon Musk Followers Think The Earth Is ‘Flat And Hollow’

    In the year 2018, the most recent of all years in history, it is still very hard to find consensus. Is Ronaldo better than Messi? Is Brexit a good idea? Is it currently ‘the festive season’ or does that not start until 1 December? We simply cannot agree.

    We can’t even agree on the shape of the planet we live on. I mean, it seems flat, right? Granted, I’ve seen my fair share of hills in my time, but you know, it’s not like the earth is round. But then if it is indeed flat, why has nobody fallen off the edge yet? Or maybe they have and we just don’t know? We’ll just never now for sure.

    In the meantime, Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, has kindly conducted a poll on Twitter to help us gauge what the majority of people are thinking. Somewhat surprisingly, the majority of the 400,000 respondents said the earth is ‘flat and hollow’ – 59 percent in fact.

    The second most popular choice was ‘hollow’ with 24 percent of the vote followed by ‘flat’ with 17 percent.

    As such, the fact the majority of Elon Musk’s followers said the earth was flat and hollow becomes far less surprising when you consider there wasn’t a ‘spherical and not hollow’ option available in the three-pronged poll.

    But hey, you’re not always going to be presented with your number one choice. You aren’t always going to be overjoyed by the options available to you on the ballot card. The most important thing is that you get out there and vote, and that is what the people did.

    In the subsequent thread, many voters elaborated on their votes with some pretty convincing arguments. It even transpires that there is a ‘flat hollow earth society’, although some of the hashtags make it seem like they might not be entirely serious.

    This is not the first time the entrepreneur’s tweets have raised eyebrows. Last month, he said Twitter locked his account off the back of a few bizarre tweets, having assumed he had been hacked.

    Perhaps he’s been spending some more time with Mary Jane?

  • Tesla boss Musk weighs go-private deal for electric carmaker

    Controversial Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said Tuesday he was considering taking the electric carmaker private, sending shares sharply higher in anticipation of a big premium.


    Going private would take the company out of the quarterly reporting cycle, making it “free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible,” Musk said in a blog post.

    Musk, who has depicted the quest to build up no-emissions electric cars as an environmental mission, said he viewed going public as “the best path forward,” but that a final decision had not been made and ultimately rested on shareholder support.

    Shares finished up 11 percent at $379.57 after being suspended for about 90 minutes following a series of Musk statements on Twitter in which he initially floated the idea of going private.

    At that price, the Tesla transaction would be worth more than $71 billion.

    A leveraged buyout of this size — one using debt — would eclipse by a wide margin the prior record, the purchase for utility TXU Corp. in 2007 by a consortium that included KKR and TPG for $44 billion.

    Gains following the tweet added to upward movement on the stock after the Financial Times reported that a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund had built a stake of between three and five percent in the company.

    Musk’s tweet comes as Tesla faces continued pressure to ramp up output of the Model 3 sedan, its first effort at the middle market.

    The billionaire Musk, who owns about 20 percent of the company, said a transaction would not “substantially” alter his stake and that he expected to continue to lead the company if it occurred.

    Polarizing figure

    Musk has previously discussed possibly going private as a means to realize long-term growth and accomplish a goal that some Tesla acolytes embrace with near-messianic passion.

    Supporters of Musk and the company view him as a visionary akin to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, while critics have likened him to a “Wizard of Oz” like figure who has yet to turn a profit.

    Tesla shareholder Quint Tatro, managing director of Joule Financial, praised the idea as “brilliant,” adding that “Musk is tired of dealing with all the challenges of being ‘public.'”

    The South African-born Tesla chief has courted plenty of controversy.

    Last month, he apologized for calling British caver Vernon Unsworth, who helped rescue 12 Thai boys from a cave, a “pedo” — short for pedophile — after Unsworth spoke dismissively of the Tesla chief’s proposal for bringing the boys to safety.

    He has also had a prickly relationship with Wall Street, apologizing last week to equity analysts after refusing to answer questions on a May investor call.

    Musk’s approach to a possible go-private transaction also went against the grain of many companies that release major news in non-trading hours.

    By contrast, Musk made the initial comment on Twitter and then embellished on the remarks in a series of responses to users on the platform.

    In its August 1 earnings release, Tesla confirmed output was on track after missing earlier benchmarks as it reported a bigger-than-expected loss.

    Shares have rallied strongly since those earnings, but Musk has continued to show a short fuse towards critics, lambasting “short” sellers of Tesla shares — those who take bets that the stock will fall in value.

    Following the company’s surge after last week’s earnings, Musk took aim again at a short-seller in a reported short YouTube video that likened these investors to Hitler’s last days.

    Musk amplified this point Tuesday, saying on Twitter that going private “will be way smoother,” end “negative propaganda from shorts” and benefit shareholders.

    “Am super appreciative of Tesla shareholders,” Musk said. “Will ensure their prosperity in any scenario.”

    Source :The Nation

Back to top button