Tech Billionaire Elon Musk Says He’s Off Twitter ‘for a While’

Elon Musk founder, CEO, and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX speaks during a January 2020 news conference after a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket test flight to demonstrate the capsule’s emergency escape system at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

MANHATTAN (AFP) — Tech billionaire Elon Musk said Tuesday he was taking a break from Twitter “for a while” after his posts on the platform helped fuel a stock market frenzy that sent the share prices of several companies soaring.

Musk overtook Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to become the world’s wealthiest person last month, with a fortune estimated at $185 billion following a nine-fold surge in Tesla’s share price over the past year.

“Off Twitter for a while,” the Tesla and SpaceX founder told his 44.5 million followers on the platform, not giving a reason for his decision.

He tweeted last week in support of a group of retail investors on website Reddit who had coordinated to buy shares in Gamestop, a struggling games company, pushing the chain’s share price up by more than 680%, according to CNN.

A post hours later about his love for the retail website Etsy, too, pushed the company’s share price up by as much as 8%, CNBC reported.

The tweets were not the only time Musk moved markets on the platform in recent weeks. When he changed his Twitter profile to read simply “#bitcoin” last Friday, the cryptocurrency’s price temporarily skyrocketed by around 20%.

His presence on the website has caused him legal issues in the past, however. 

Musk was forced to step down as chairman of the Tesla’s board in 2018 after a serious run-in with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused him of misleading investors by tweeting about a possible withdrawal of Tesla from the stock exchange. 

© Agence France-Presse

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