Elon Musk recently defended his right to post inflammatory statements on Twitter, even if it costs him money. During an interview on CNBC, Musk attempted to explain why he posts controversial tweets despite potential consequences. Musk referenced a scene from The Princess Bride to justify his attitude towards Twitter. In the scene, the character Inigo Montoya is confronted by a man who killed his father. The man offers Montoya money and power, to which Montoya replies that he doesn’t care about either. Musk quoted the scene, saying, “I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequences are losing money, so be it.”
Musk’s Troubling Tweets
Musk’s defense came after a series of tweets that promoted conspiracy theories and were accused of being anti-Semitic. He also retweeted discredited theories about crime and race. These tweets caused concern for shareholders and customers, with some calling for Musk to stop tweeting altogether. The controversy surrounding Musk’s tweets has led to legal action against him in the past, including a $40 million fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after a take-private tweet in 2018.
Musk’s Twitter Behavior and Consequences
As CEO of a public company, Musk is limited in what he can say, on Twitter or elsewhere. Misleading tweets about Tesla, for example, could result in legal action from shareholders. Musk is currently under a consent decree with the SEC that requires a lawyer to approve his tweets about Tesla before he can post them. Despite these consequences, Musk remains defiant in his Twitter behavior. He believes that he has a right to say what he wants, even if it costs him money. This attitude has caused headaches for Musk’s followers and shareholders in the past, and it remains to be seen whether he will change his behavior in the future.