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Tesla’s “be on the lookout” flyer alerting employees following what turned out to be a bogus warning of a mass shooter.

Tesla’s “be on the lookout” flyer alerting employees following what turned out to be a bogus warning of a mass shooter.

When Elon Musk Tried to Destroy a Tesla Whistleblower

It started with a Twitter meltdown and ended with a fake mass shooter. A former security manager says the company also spied and spread misinformation.

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By the larger-than-life standards of Elon Musk, the story was far from a blockbuster. On June 4, 2018, Business Insider reported that Tesla Inc. was scrapping or reworking 40 percent of the raw materials at the Gigafactory, its huge battery plant in the Nevada desert. The article cited a source who figured the inefficiency had cost Musk’s electric car company $150 million, describing giant piles of scrap materials in the factory. Tesla denied the report, and a few hours later, the world moved on.

The world, that is, except Elon Musk. Although he wasn’t asked about the Business Insider story the following day at the company’s annual meeting, he stewed for weeks, dispatching a team of investigators to try to figure out who’d shared the information with the press.