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Twitter locks Elon Musk's account after bizarre posts

Joseph Archer

Elon Musk claims Twitter temporarily locked his account after fearing his bizarre posts were the work of hackers.

The billionaire, who is known for his controversial rants online, wrote: “Twitter thought I got hacked & locked my account haha.”

Hours earlier, the Tesla and SpaceX chief declared his love for anime. Another post, written by Musk just minutes later said he owned a wolverine that he described as “chibi”, which is Japanese slang for short.

He also shared an anime image with the text: "Wanna buy some Bitcoin?"

It is not known exactly which tweets caused Twitter to temporarily block Musk, however the social network has been stepping up its crackdown on what it believes to be “spam accounts” in recent months.

Twitter said it will lock an account if it detects sudden changes before contacting the owner to confirm they still have control over it. These changes could include tweeting a large number of unsolicited replies to other people’s tweets, tweeting misleading links, or if a large number of people block the account after mentioning it.

Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy on the site. In September, he was forced to step down as Tesla chairman and pay a  £15m fine after a tweet claiming he wanted had funding to take Tesla private at $420 per share.

This statement was questioned by the authorities, who established that the deal was not completed. 

Court documents filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suggested that he had misled the public and the $420 figure was a reference to drugs, though Mr Musk has denied this. April 20 is a significant date in cannabis culture.

Action by the SEC resulted in Mr Musk stepping down as chairman of Tesla, and he and the company had to pay $20m in fines.

Mr Musk also called Vernon Unsworth, a 63-year-old British cave explorer who led the rescue of 12 Thai children trapped in a flooded cave, a “pedo guy” on Twitter in July

Mr Unsworth has now filed a libel suit in a California district court seeking at least $75,000 in damages from the South African billionaire for the tweet. 

It is thought Musk's Twitter rants may be fueled by Ambien, a drug that helps with sleep.

Musk told the New York Times earlier this year that he takes Ambien to help him cope with 120-hour work weeks, saying: “It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien”.