Executive Insights

Elon Musk abruptly stopped tweeting last week, and no one knows why

Business Insider US
  • Elon Musk hasn't tweeted in a week, amid his bid to buy Twitter and take it private.
  • Up until June 21, Musk's tweets were making headlines near-daily as he shared updates on the deal.
  • Musk is arguably Twitter's most visible user, one who's only ever taken short breaks from tweeting.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Do you hear that? It's the silence of a week without a single tweet from Elon Musk.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO and potential future owner of Twitter has been noticeably absent from the platform since June 21. Save for a few likes on June 22, Musk has been mum; up until last week, he'd tweeted at least once each day since as far back as May 1. 

It's a mysterious silence for arguably Twitter's most visible user, one whose tweets have been making headlines near-daily since he offered in April to buy the company outright. Though his $44 billion bid to take Twitter private has gone anything but smoothly, he got one step closer last week when the social-media giant's board endorsed the takeover bid.

Since then, he's gone dark, causing observers and fans to wonder where he's gone, even as he reached a new milestone on Twitter: 100 million followers.

Musk, like many of us, has taken Twitter breaks before. In June 2020 — shortly after the birth of his son, X — Musk announced that he'd be "off Twitter for a while," only to return four days later. And in 2019, he quit tweeting for all of three days after pondering the "good" of Twitter. 

Though unannounced, this could be another hiatus for Musk. Perhaps the exec, worth $223 billion, is cruising on a yacht or lounging on a beach somewhere in celebration of his 51st birthday on Tuesday. 

But perhaps not — Musk is famously vacation-phobic. Back in 2000 when he was CEO of PayPal, the board fired him while he was en route to Australia for a vacation. Soon after, on another vacation to Brazil and South Africa, Musk contracted what he's said was a "near fatal" case of malaria. Another time, one of his rockets exploded during his week off. 

He's since said that "vacations will kill you" and claimed in 2015 that he'd only taken two vacations since founding SpaceX in 2002. 

So if he's not relaxing somewhere without internet access, it's possible Musk is working through the "firehose" of Twitter data he requested in order to close the deal. Hung up on the prevalence of bots on the platform and unconvinced by Twitter's own investigations, Musk demanded Twitter's trove of internal information in order to conduct his own analysis — and just last week, Musk asked for and received even more data

That data includes real-time information on the hundreds of millions of tweets sent every day, most likely requiring a team of experts and massive computing capacity to comb through it all — which may not be leaving Musk much time for his favourite past time: tweeting.

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