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Elon Musk taking a break from Twitter

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, a prolific tweeter, has been criticized in the past for his tweets on everything from coronavirus to Tesla stock.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk celebrates after Saturday's successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with NASA astronauts aboard. 
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is a dedicated Twitter user, but he says he's taking a break from the social media platform. "Off Twitter for a while," Musk tweeted Monday. 

Musk's Twitter account has more than 35 million followers, and by Tuesday morning, his announcement had been retweeted more than 34,000 times and liked more than 433,900 times.

While Musk's most recent tweets are about NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley arriving at the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft, he's tweeted in the past about everything and anything, from baby Yoda memes to coronavirus opinions. 

And he's faced legal issues over his tweets. He called British cave diver Vernon Unsworth a "pedo guy" in a 2018 tweet, and was found not liable for damages in a defamation lawsuit. Also in 2018, Musk mused in a tweet that he might take Tesla private, which eventually led to a $20 million fine and Musk stepping down as chair of Tesla's board.

More recently, he's tweeted multiple times about the coronavirus pandemic, first, writing "the coronavirus panic is dumb," and later speaking out against lockdown rules. In mid-March, he erroneously predicted there would be "probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April." There were more than a million cases in the US by that time.

"It's not like I stand by all the tweets I've ever done," Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek in May. "Some of them were definitely extremely dumb. On balance, the good outweighs the bad."

Some Twitter followers linked Musk's recent space achievements with his announcement.

"You're not allowed to leave and go to Mars while we're all stuck here with riots, virus panic, murder hornets and Ebola," wrote one Twitter user. "At least take some of us with you."