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Sci-Tech
Tuesday Feb 02 2021
By
AFP

Elon Musk says he's taking a break from Twitter 'for a while'

By
AFP
In this file photo Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures as he arrives to visit the construction site of the future US electric car giant Tesla, on September 03, 2020 in Grünheide near Berlin. With his social media prognostications about Bitcoin or GameStop, Elon Musk has been venturing further away from his own businesses and becoming more like a Wall Street heavyweight who can move markets with just a few words. — AFP/Odd Andersen

NEW YORK: Tech billionaire Elon Musk will be taking a break from Twitter "for a while", following posts on the platform that ignited a stock market storm, causing prices of several stocks to skyrocket.

Musk overtook Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to become the world's wealthiest person last month, with a fortune estimated at $185 billion following a nine-fold surge in Tesla's share price over the past year.

"Off Twitter for a while," the Tesla and SpaceX founder told his 44.5 million followers on the platform, not giving a reason for his decision.

He tweeted last week in support of a group of retail investors on website Reddit who had coordinated to buy shares in Gamestop, a struggling games company, pushing the chain's share price up by more than 680%, according to CNN.

A post hours later about his love for the retail website Etsy, too, pushed the company's share price up by as much as 8%, CNBC reported.

The tweets were not the only time Musk moved markets on the platform in recent weeks. When he changed his Twitter profile to read simply "#bitcoin" last Friday, the cryptocurrency's price temporarily skyrocketed by around 20%.

His presence on the website has caused him legal issues in the past, however.

Musk was forced to step down as chairman of the Tesla's board in 2018 after a serious run-in with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused him of misleading investors by tweeting about a possible withdrawal of Tesla from the stock exchange.