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LACKING ÉLAN

Elon Musk’s 9-day Twitter silence is unusually long for him

Elon Musk making a funny face
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
Elon Musk has disappeared from Twitter.
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Not to jinx it, but… Elon Musk hasn’t tweeted in a long time.

Musk, who has day jobs leading Tesla and SpaceX, is in the process of buying Twitter for $44 billion. He purchased the company in part because he’s an avid user of the platform (with tons of complaints about its content moderation practices).

While he’s not allowed to tweet about Tesla without a lawyer’s sign-off, Musk spends all day—and often past midnight—posting memes, complaints about liberals, and crass jokes to his 100 million followers.

But Musk hasn’t tweeted since June 21—nine days ago—and it’s his longest such dry spell in at least 10 months. (Twitter limits public access to user timeline data to the most recent 3,200 tweets.)

Elon Musk is always under the spotlight

As the world’s richest person, according to Forbes, Musk is under constant scrutiny and surveillance. An automated Twitter account called @ElonJet, created in 2020 by Jack Sweeney, tracks the public movements of Musk’s not-so-private jet. In March, for example, the account disclosed that Musk was headed to Berlin, Germany, for the opening of Tesla’s so-called gigafactory, a very large automotive manufacturing plant.

Musk wouldn’t be the first Twitter chief to receive this kind of scrutiny. Former CEO Dick Costolo was once trackable using the geolocation metadata from his own tweets. Similar to Musk, Jack Dorsey had a weeks-long Twitter hiatus that raised eyebrows in 2014.

Combining both factors—where Musk’s jet is and what he’s tweeting—allows us to triangulate his physical and mental whereabouts in our Musk-watching pursuits. But Musk hasn’t used his plane since flying to Austin, Texas on July 24 and hasn’t tweeted since June 21.

The value of tracking Elon Musk

Tracking Musk this closely is admittedly a bit absurd, but his actions move markets. Wall Street analysts are actively speculating about what’s behind his prolonged silence.

Gary Black, managing partner of The Future Fund, an investment advising firm with its own exchange-traded fund, speculated in a tweet that Musk is either trying to “wrap up” the Twitter deal or “doing a real time test to show what happens to $TWTR engagement if he stops tweeting.”

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