Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover has brought a lot of changes to the platform, and some are taking it well, but others are not. Mayor John Bauters of Emeryville, California, said that he was canceling his Tesla Fremont factory tour and cited Elon Musk and Twitter as his reasons.
The mayor, also chairman of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District board of directors, planned to tour the factory on December 13, 2022, and address Tesla’s concerns about permitting timelines.
On Wednesday, Elon Musk said Twitter would temporarily remove any accounts involved in deception and also participated in a Q&A on Twitter Spaces. On Monday, Twitter suspended several verified accounts for impersonating him and said that those impersonating other handles without clearly labeling the account as a parody would also be suspended.
Citing Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover and censorship of free speech, the mayor canceled his tour of the factory. He shared screenshots of what looks to be his letter to Tesla in a tweet with the caption,
“Your time is more valuable than anything a billionaire can buy. Respect your time. Respect your values. Respect yourself.”
Your time is more valuable than anything a billionaire can buy.
Respect your time. Respect your values. Respect yourself. ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/PshSmHHQ42
— Mayor John J. Bauters (@JohnBauters) November 10, 2022
“Companies like Tesla are important community stakeholders to both Alameda County and Bay Area Air Quality Management District,” he wrote in his letter.
He added that while permitting timelines was important, so were other things.
“Tesla’s owner, Elon Musk, recently acquired Twitter, a social media platform used by millions of people for social and political discourse. In the brief time since acquiring the company for $44 billion, he has used it to censor free speech, distort social discourse with disinformation, and institute new policies that have undermined other businesses, major political leaders, and everyday people who are vulnerable to online or personal harassment, misinformation or opportunistic actors.”
The mayor added that these actions increase the time officials spend publicly correcting disinformation and addressing inaccurate information and listed how it harms the community.
“Acts like these increase the time local officials like me spend publicly correcting disinformation, addressing or responding to inaccurate information, and supporting the smaller businesses and community members harmed by inadequate controls. They also widen the growing social divide in this country and are antithetical to the values and goals of both the Air District’s Board of Directors and the people of Alameda County, whom I represent in my capacity on the Board.”
Mayor Bauters said that he will use the time he had planned for the Tesla factory tour to build the community. “Please understand that this decision is in no way a reflection of you, your professionalism, or the underlying request to speak with the elected leader of the agency Board that oversees Tesla’s permitting process,” he said.
Teslarati reached out to Mayor Bauters for a comment. When or if he responds, we’ll update here.
Disclosure: Johnna is a $TSLA shareholder and believes in Tesla’s mission.
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