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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Tesla's Musk just can't stop playing with fire on Twitter

CEO of electric car maker takes to social media again to ridicule US 'authorities'

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken aim at officials in latest Tweets. AP
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken aim at officials in latest Tweets. AP

Tesla’s Elon Musk continued to flirt with trouble on Twitter.

The chief executive posted on Monday that he had deleted all references to the titles he held at Tesla, then joked that in doing so, he may have confused “the authorities”.

The posts were not-so-subtle jabs at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which sued Mr Musk last month over tweets he sent about trying to take Tesla private. The billionaire agreed to pay a $20 million penalty and relinquish the role of chairman as part of a settlement. Tesla also assented to setting up controls to oversee Mr Musk’s social media posts regarding the company.

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The settlement has not stopped Mr Musk, 47, from repeatedly needling the SEC. Late Friday, he said an unspecified tweet that cost him $20m was “worth it.” While the agency actually took issue with several of his posts in its lawsuit, an initial missive in which he claimed to have secured the funding for a Tesla buyout was perhaps the most notorious one.

Earlier this month, Mr Musk trolled the SEC by calling it the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” and mockingly wrote that it was “doing incredible work”. He then ranted about short selling over the course of more than 20 hours, calling for it to be banned.

On October 16, a US judge signed off on the SEC settlement, after Tesla, Mr Musk and the regulator said in a joint filing that the deal was in the best interest of investors.

Tesla slipped in after-hours trading on Monday following Musk’s tweets, falling as much as 1.3 per cent to $330.60. The shares are up about 7.6 per cent this year.