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Elon Musk says he's going to try to stop attacking people on Twitter that criticize him first (TSLA)

Mark Matousek
Elon Musk

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press


  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he will try to be less combative on Twitter in an interview with Bloomberg.
  • Musk said he had believed he could "attack" people who addressed negative tweets toward him, so long as they attacked him first.
  • But he said he should probably decline to respond to negative tweets more often.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he will try to be less combative on Twitter in an interview with Bloomberg.

"I have made the mistaken assumption—and I will attempt to be better at this—of thinking that because somebody is on Twitter and is attacking me that it is open season. And that is my mistake. I will correct it," he said.

Musk said he had believed he could "attack" people who addressed negative tweets toward him, so long as they attacked him first.

"Generally the view that I've had on Twitter is if you're on Twitter, you're in like the meme—you're in meme war land. If you're on Twitter, you're in the arena. And so essentially if you attack me, it is therefore OK for me to attack back," he said.

Musk said he had never sent a combative tweet to someone who hadn't provoked him, but said he should probably decline to respond to negative tweets more often.

"If somebody attacks you on Twitter, should you say nothing? Probably the answer in some cases is yes, I should say nothing. In fact, most of the time I do say nothing. I should probably say nothing more often," he said.

In recent months, Musk has become increasingly active on Twitter, using the platform to spar with reporters and critics, answer questions from customers, and provide updates about his companies. Some investors and analysts have expressed concern about his conduct on Twitter.

"We are very supportive, but we would like peace and execution at this stage," Jamie Anderson, a partner and portfolio manager at the asset-management firm and Tesla investor Baillie Gifford told Bloomberg. "It would be good to just concentrate on the core task."

Read Bloomberg's full interview

If you've worked for Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

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