An Elon Musk message on Twitter – apparently a joke about bitcoin that fell flat – ended up causing the messaging and social media platform to lock down the account of the co-founder of both Tesla and PayPal.
The message, sent Monday night (Oct. 22), featured a female anime character with bitcoin-branded garb, and text from Musk that read “Wanna buy some bitcoin?” According to reports, Twitter, apparently thinking it was unlikely that Musk would try to sell virtual currency online, given all his other pursuits, briefly locked down his account over fears that someone had taken it over. Musk has some 20 million Twitter followers and reportedly has been impersonated before on Twitter, as have many famous people.
Indeed, the message was from Musk. Here is what happened, according to an account from CCN: Musk sent a Twitter message that “professed his love for anime,” which then resulted in a serious message from another user about “whether Tesla accounts would begin utilizing two-factor authentication.” Musk decided to respond with a joke about cryptocurrency — hence that not-exactly-serious offer about selling bitcoin.
The report added that “the tweet went viral, garnering thousands of likes and retweets within hours, and leading many cryptocurrency enthusiasts to inquire about whether Tesla would be accepting certain cryptocurrencies, and others took the opportunity to advertise cryptocurrency projects that they believed in.”
Twitter then locked Musk’s account.
He eventually responded more seriously to the person who sent the message that started all this, saying that when it comes to two-factor authentication, he is “working on it.”
Musk, of course, has made the news recently for much more serious reasons, which also involved Twitter. In late September, for instance, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Tesla with failing to require disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk’s “Tesla going private” tweets and Tesla stocks, a charge that Tesla has agreed to settle. Musk agreed to pay $40 million in fines and to resign as Tesla chairman to settle the securities fraud charges.