A timeline of Elon Musk’s craziest Twitter ideas
Over the weekend, Elon Musk said something strange.
I know what you’re thinking: be more specific. Well, this time the CEO of Tesla has indicated that he might launch a social network – or, at the very least, wouldn’t rule it out. “I’m seriously considering this,” he replied to a Twitter user who asked if Musk would consider creating his own rival platform. Musk previously criticized Twitter.
“Given that Twitter serves as the city’s de facto public square, failure to uphold the principles of free speech fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk said. tweeted. “What should be done?”
Musk launching his own platform wouldn’t be as amazing as some of the other big projects he’s pitched to his nearly 80 million user audience.
While some might consider having so many followers a big responsibility, Musk seems to tweet whatever he wants without worrying about the consequences. And his followers are listening: each tweet garners thousands of likes, retweets and replies.
In 280 characters or less, his infamous crazy tweets – which have literally been turned into a coloring book – ignite oxen with technology highlights and The politicians similar, shake the markets (think Dogecoin, GameStop and his own Tesla) and were the announcement platform for many raised Goals. And because Tesla cut its press team in 2020, Musk’s tweets are often the only window an average person can get into the inner workings of his companies.
Musk’s tweets got him into a lot of legal issue more than once, most recently with the SEC. In 2018, he reached a settlement with regulators over fraud charges after he tweeted that he could take Tesla private without filing the necessary regulatory notices, requiring him to have his tweets pre-approved (although he tries to opt out of this agreement for the time being).
How often do Musk’s tweeted promises come true? Here is a timeline of what he said and what he actually did.
March 14: Musk fights with Putin
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Musk challenged Russian leader Vladimir Putin to hand to hand combat, because of course he did. He said the stakes in their fight “are [Ukraine].” He has even double on this offer, later tweeting: “If [Putin] I’m afraid to fight, I’ll agree to only use my left hand and I’m not even left handed.
As far as we know, Putin did not accept this offer from Musk.
February 26: Musk promises to provide Starlink terminals and internet service to Ukraine
When Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and his Minister of Digital Transformation, asked Musk to boost Starlink internet service in the country, Musk replied that Starlink services had been activated in Ukraine and terminals were “on the way.” Starlink is SpaceX’s internet service, and the donation has provided a reliable fallback as other internet service providers struggle to stay in the area. According to the Washington Post, more than 5,000 Starlink terminals are active in the country.
Musk followed: the terminals to operate the service have arrived 1st of Marchwith a second shipment arriving March 9 which also included power adapters for car cigarette lighters, solar batteries, and batteries and generators.
December 13, 2021: Musk announces SpaceX carbon capture program
Musk revealed that SpaceX is getting into carbon capture technology, tweeting that the company is launching a program to “remove CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into rocket fuel.” He also asked people to “join if they’re interested” and, in true vague Musk fashion, didn’t elaborate on what the program is or how one might “join.” He tweeted that the program “will also be important for Mars,” one of Musk’s biggest goals for SpaceX.
There hasn’t been an update on this concept since his December tweet. Experts have also begun to doubt the effectiveness of carbon capture: a study by Stanford found that carbon capture technologies would only reduce CO2 emissions by a small fraction and simultaneously increase air pollution.
October 31, 2021: Musk says he will sell Tesla stock to end world hunger
A CNN Business article with the big title, “2% of Elon Musk’s Wealth Could Help Solve World Hunger, Says Director of UN Food Shortage Organization,” prompted a reaction from Musk. He tweeted“If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger, I’ll sell Tesla stock right now and do it.” He added that the project must include “open source accounting”.
This prompted David Beasley, who oversees the United Nations World Food Programme, to respond that a donation of this size would “prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people from the brink of starvation”. Musk Beasley asked publish “current and proposed spending” on this idea. Beasley responded multiple times asking Musk to to meetdefending the The work of the World Food Program and how math of his donation would work, but Musk stopped responding.
According to FortuneMusk donated $5.7 billion in November weeks after the interaction, but did not reveal which charity he donated to.
May 12, 2021: Musk says Tesla will suspend bitcoin payments
Musk tweeted that Tesla would stop accepting bitcoin for vehicle purchases due to the environmental impacts of fossil fuels used in cryptocurrency mining. He also said that Tesla would keep the bitcoin it already owns for future transactions when “mining shifts to more sustainable energy.” (Tesla held about $2 billion in bitcoins at the end of 2021.) About a month later, he tweeted that Tesla would resume acceptance bitcoin payments when its miners can show they are using around 50% clean energy.
Although little has been said about it since last summer, Tesla said in its October earnings report that it “may revive the practice of cryptocurrency transactions in the future.”
March 23, 2021: Musk says SpaceX will send people to Mars before 2030
One of SpaceX’s biggest goals is to make humanity interplanetary, and Musk thinks that goal is only a few years away. Last March, he tweeted that SpaceX would land spacecraft on Mars “well before” 2030. “The really tough threshold is to make Mars Base Alpha self-sustaining,” he said.
SpaceX’s core mission is to make space more accessible (the company sent four people into orbit in September for a few days). But he has made promises like this before. In 2018he said 2022 would be the year SpaceX launched two freighters to Mars, and 2024 would be the year the company took people there.
January 21, 2021: Musk announces he will donate $100 million to carbon capture technology
last January, Musk tweeted“I’m donating $100 million for a prize for the best carbon capture technology.” He continued with “Details next week.”
In this case, the details came a few weeks later: Musk has partnered with the nonprofit XPRIZE Foundation to fund a $100 million competition for the team that could “demonstrate a working solution at a scale of at least 1000 tons (of carbon) removed per year; model their costs at the scale of 1 million tons per year; and show a path to achieve a scale of gigatons per year in the future,” according to the website. It is the largest incentive prize in history.
The contest will last until Earth Day in 2025.
March 25, 2020: Musk promises to help procure ventilators for COVID-19 treatment
Towards the end of March 2020, after downplaying the importance of COVID-19 (literally tweeting, “The coronavirus panic is stupid”), Musk tried to lend a hand to help with COVID-19-related hospitalizations by purchasing ventilators for several cities. He tweeted on March 25: “Giga New York will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible. We will do everything in our power to help the citizens of New York. He then tweeted that he delivered 1,000 ventilators to Los Angeles which he procured from China, which California Governor Gavin Newsom called a “heroic effort.”
Musk would have did not deliver the correct type of fan, yet. Rather than invasive ventilators used to intubate COVID-19 patients, Musk provided BiPAP and CPAP machines, which are used to treat sleep apnea.
July 8, 2018: Musk plans to save Thailand soccer team with submarine
Who could forget when Musk attempted to play Tony Stark to try and help save a Thai youth soccer team trapped in a cave? Musk tweeted videos testing a “small child-sized submarine” that he wanted to use to save the football team. The only problem: the rescuers ultimately didn’t need the technology. His tweets about testing came hours later reports that four of the children had already been rescued.
Musk later lashed out at Vernon Unsworth, the diver who rescued the kids, calling him a “pedo” on Twitter (an insult that resulted in a defamation lawsuit which Musk ultimately won).
“I didn’t mean to literally say he was a pedophile,” Musk said on the witness stand at December 2019.
March 26, 2018: Musk promises to sell bricks made from tunnel building materials
Musk decided to get into the brick business in early 2018. He tweeted that his tunneling company, The Boring Co., would offer “life-size, LEGO-like interlocking bricks made from dug rocks” as products to create sculptures and buildings. A day later, he tweeted, “And they said I would never be a rock star.” The bricks were to be sold at 10 cents apiece and would be distributed free to affordable housing projects.
Well, if becoming a “rock star” means making 500 bricks that the company hasn’t finished selling, then he did. Youtube channel “What’s insidereviewed one of the bricks in October 2020, two years after the limited release, in which the show host revealed he actually bought his brick for $200 because Musk gave the 500 bricks to employees, rather than putting them up for sale. It’s unclear whether or not Boring Co. plans to release more bricks.