It all started when user @WholeMarsBlog, in the format Twittertagged Musk in a series of leaked messages asking if it was real.
In the tweet, the user stated, “Obviously Bill Gates reached out to @elonmusk to discuss ‘climate change philanthropy’ but Elon asked if he still had a ‘short’ position of half a billion dollars in Tesla (TSLA) stock. Bill said no, so “Turn around,” Elon told him.
A “short” position in the investing world means that an investor typically sells “borrowed” shares with the intention of repurchasing them later at a lower price, betting that the stock will fall.
Bell said he didn’t shut it down, so Elon told him to get lost. No idea if this is true lol pic.twitter.com/iuHkDG3bAd
– The entire Mars catalog (WholeMarsBlog) April 22 2022
In response, Musk said the prints were real, but he himself did not leak them to the New York Times.
“They must have gotten it through friends of friends. I heard from several people at TED that Gates still has half a billion Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s no secret.”
Yeah, but I didn’t leak it to the New York Times. They must have gotten it through friends of friends.
I’ve heard from several people at TED that Gates still has half a billion shorts for a Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s not entirely confidential.
– Elon Musk April 23, 2022
From the color of the messages sent from the iPhone, the photos were likely taken from Musk’s cell phone. That’s because the message bubble color in Apple smartphones is green or blue, while the reply bubble is usually gray.
In the screenshots, Gates reportedly told Musk that he “wanted to discuss the possibilities of philanthropy” with the world’s richest man, to which Musk responded: “Sorry, but I can’t take your philanthropy seriously with climate change when you have such a huge position “Against Tesla, the company that is doing everything it can to solve climate change.”
It is not known exactly when the conversation took place. But in February 2021, Musk said in a podcast that he heard that “Gates was betting on Tesla in the stock market.”
Shortly after posting the text messages, Musk tweeted a meme comparing Gates to a pregnant Apple man emoji, with the caption, “In case you need to lose an erection quickly.”
He later tweeted “Moving to…” and in a second blog post, he claimed that “(Mock Gates for shorting Tesla while claiming support for climate change action).”
In case you need to lose a boner quickly pic.twitter.com/fcHiaXKCJi
– Elon Musk April 23, 2022
Musk and Twitter: Billionaire “troll”
Musk, who wants to buy Twitter, has been increasingly active on the social network. But the controversies he was involved in are not new.
For starters, a simple example: Last year, Musk tweeted a picture of his dog, Floki, of the Shiba Inu breed, causing the Shiba Inu coin to surge 1,600%.
In November 2021, the company’s shares plummeted after a tweet in which Musk asked if he should sell 10% of his stock because “a lot has been done recently with unrealized gains being a means of tax evasion.” 3.5 million people voted. 60% voted for the asset sale.
Last December, he went on to sell Tesla shares to reach the 10% target and said he would pay $11 billion in taxes.
But Musk, who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, doesn’t think it’s having an impact on the markets. “Markets move all the time, based on what I know of something,” he told Time magazine.
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