Tesla has reportedly been using bots to manipulate stock prices since 2013

One of the most controversial aspects of social media is how much influence a single user can have on how people view real-world events. On Twitter in particular, trending topics and a flurry of hashtags can cause market cries (see: fluctuations in meme stocks and crypto valuations like AMC and Gamestop).

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Elon Musk has often been accused of disrupting the market through toasted-off tweets, but new investigations show that he is knowingly manipulating Tesla’s stock price using the Twitter bot. A report by Los Angeles Times In the seven years since 2013, more than 30,000 tweets have been placed by automated accounts or bots in appreciation of the “positive” feeling about Tesla.

Related: Elon Musk No longer joins the Twitter board

Researcher David A. Kirsch, Robert H. of the University of Maryland. Moshen Chowdhury, a professor at the Smith School of Business and his assistant, after studying more than 186 Tesla-centric bots, found that Tesla stocks have risen more than 2% since launch. Each

The tweets began after Tesla hit a negative news cycle in 2013 over reports of a company car fire for drivers. The couple found that one-fifth of the tweets about Tesla were bot-generated, “wrote Bar Reporter Ross Mitchell. “It’s not out of line with giants like Amazon and Apple, but their bots generally tend to push the stock market and technology stocks, taking those companies as leaders, but not focusing on any specific details about the companies.”

The report notes that although Tesla’s stock valuation skyrocketed with the total value of the mask throughout the 2010s, the carmaker actually lost an estimated $ 5.7 billion over the same period – a disproportionate amount.

Related: Elizabeth Warren: Elon Musk likes the humiliation of tax negotiations

The news comes as Musk continues to make headlines for his recent acquisition of Twitter shares, which makes him the majority stakeholder in the platform. However, Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal announced this week that, contrary to initial speculation, Mask will not be joining the company’s board.

“I believe it’s for the best,” Agarwal tweeted. “We always value input from our shareholders, whether they are on our board or not. Elon is our largest shareholder and we will be open to his input. ”

Analysts have since suggested that if Musk had joined the board, he would have owned only 14.9% of the company.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Twitter was down about 35% year-over-year. Tesla grew 42% over the same period.

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