February 6, 2023

In his testimony, Mr Musk said he thought Twitter was “the best way to communicate with people”, including “investors, big and small”. He also said he used Twitter to share memes, a comment that drew laughter from some watching the trial.

Mr. Musk also acknowledged that in July 2018, his colleagues and friends, including then-Tesla director Antonio Gracias, advised him to take a break from Twitter. Mr Musk said that summer was filled with “extreme pain” as Tesla struggled to ramp up production of its most affordable car, the Model 3. Before Mr Musk took to Twitter to talk about taking Tesla private, he baselessly claimed that a British diver involved in a cave rescue in Thailand was a “pedophile”.

Asked if he followed their advice, Mr. Musk replied: “I think I’ll keep tweeting.”

His posts are closely watched and analyzed by investors and others interested in the company and electric vehicles.

On the witness stand, one of the investors, Glen Littleton, a plaintiff in the case, said Wednesday that Mr. Musk’s first statement on Twitter about taking the company private seemed definitive. So Mr. Littleton said he started trading options.

“It’s almost exhausting me,” Mr Littleton, 71, said of taking Tesla private. “I want to secure my livelihood. It’s a threat to my livelihood.”

Another investor and plaintiff in the case, Timothy Fries, testified Friday that Mr. Musk’s first Twitter statement appeared to offer a good opportunity to invest in Tesla. The next day he bought stock in the company.

“I wasn’t ready to buy shares until I saw this tweet,” Mr Fries said. He believes the deal is still being negotiated, but Mr Musk’s post means “there is a committed party and the funds have been vetted.”

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