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After Twitter Takeover, Elon Musk Has More Legal Battles to Deal With

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Elon Musk was forced through a months-long court battle to buy Twitter on Thursday, but numerous lawsuits remain against the world’s richest person and electric carmaker Tesla, where he is chief executive.

Twitter Lawsuit

Twitter investors sued Musk in May in San Francisco federal court, claiming he manipulated Twitter’s stock price by failing to disclose in March he was amassing shares in the social media platform. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also said it is investigating the timing of Musk’s disclosures.

Musk’s attorneys have asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing it is barred by federal securities law.

$55 Billion Tesla Pay Lawsuit

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A shareholder of Tesla wants a judge to find that Musk’s Tesla pay package, which is estimated to be worth $55 billion (roughly Rs. 4,52,600 crore), unjustly enriches Musk. The case is scheduled to go to trial on November 14 in Delaware’s Court of Chancery. Tesla has said the pay aligns Musk’s incentives with shareholders and has benefited investors.

Employment Disputes

Tesla and Musk are defending numerous allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination, including a lawsuit by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

In 2021, a jury awarded a Black elevator operator who worked at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, $137 million (roughly Rs. 1,130 crore) in damages before a new trial was ordered. Separately, a Tesla shareholder has sued the company, claiming it has not adequately tackled workplace discrimination and harassment.

Tesla has said it does not tolerate discrimination and has taken steps to address workers’ complaints.

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Lawsuits Sparked by Musk’s Tweets

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In August 2018, Musk sent a tweet that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private, sending shares sharply higher. The tweet sparked a series of lawsuits.

A 2018 lawsuit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission ended with Musk stepping down as Tesla chairman, paying fines and having a lawyer approve some of his tweets before posting them.

Tesla shareholders are suing in Delaware to tighten oversight of Musk’s tweets about the company. In a separate ongoing case alleging Musk inflated Tesla stock by making false statements, a US District Court in San Francisco found the 2018 tweet was inaccurate and reckless.

JPMorgan Chase also sued Tesla in November for $162.2 million (roughly Rs. 1,330 crore), saying it was forced to reprice Tesla stock warrants after the 2018 tweet. Tesla said the tweet was a personal statement by Musk and countersued the bank, arguing it was seeking a “windfall” and should have terminated the warrants rather than reprice them.

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Investigations of Tesla Driver Assistance 

Tesla has reported 273 vehicle crashes since July 2021 involving advanced driving assistance systems, sparking investigations including a US criminal probe over claims that the cars can drive themselves, sources told Reuters.

Tesla has said Autopilot “enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane,” while Full-Self Driving also enables vehicles to obey traffic signals and make lane changes.

SolarCity Litigation

Tesla investors are appealing an April ruling by a Delaware judge who ruled that Musk did not unjustly enrich himself when he guided the company in 2016 to acquire SolarCity, where Musk was chairman and the largest shareholder.

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The investors had sought more than $10 billion (roughly Rs. 82,290 crore) in damages.

See also  Facebook Parent Meta Informs Hardware Staffers About Cutbacks, Ensures No Layoffs

The SEC opened an investigation in December over a whistleblower complaint that Tesla failed to properly notify shareholders and the public of fire risks of its solar panel systems.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and the iPad (2022) alongside the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company’s latest products, along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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What Are WhatsApp Polls and How Do You Use Them? All You Need to Know

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WhatsApp’s new features and updates which have rolled out over the past few months have made the messaging experience much better. Now, WhatsApp users can even create polls in personal and group chats to see what their friends and contacts think. Both iOS and Android users can use this feature. A poll could help take the opinions of group members on any topic or idea, or could be useful for making plans quickly. Just like your chats, the responses you send to a poll question will be protected by end-to-end encryption. At the moment, Telegram and Facebook Messenger allow group polls. You can easily start using this new WhatsApp feature on your smartphone.

Here is How to Create a WhatsApp Poll

Step 1: Update WhatsApp to the latest version

Step 2: Open the private or group chat in which you want to create a poll

Step 3: For Android, tap on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the screen. For iOS, select the plus (+) icon at the bottom of the screen.

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Step 4: Select ‘Poll’

Step 5: Type the question you want to ask, along with response options

Step 6: Finally, tap on ‘Send’ to share the poll

Up to twelve response options can be offered to recipients for each poll, and these are not time-bound. Users can also see the responses selected by others by tapping on ‘View votes’.

The Meta-owned messaging app has recently worked on several updates, rolling out new tools including the Call Link feature, the ability to message yourself, and Companion Mode. While some of these new features are not available to all users at the moment, WhatsApp does plan to make them accessible to everyone in the coming days. The most recent and talked-about feature apart from WhatsApp polls is Communities. These allow users to have separate groups under one “Community” to organize large conversations.

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“With Communities, we’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else. The alternatives available today require trusting apps or software companies with a copy of their messages – and we think they deserve the higher level of security provided by end-to-end encryption,” stated WhatsApp in a blog post.

See also  Facebook Parent Meta Informs Hardware Staffers About Cutbacks, Ensures No Layoffs
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Elon Musk Calls Donald Trump’s Twitter Ban ‘Grave Mistake’, Condemns Violence

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Twitter’s ban on then President Donald Trump after January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters was a “grave mistake” that had to be corrected, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Friday, although he also stated that incitement to violence would continue to be prohibited on Twitter.

“I’m fine with Trump not tweeting. The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service,” Musk said in a tweet. “Deplatforming a sitting President undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America.”

Last week, Musk announced the reactivation of Trump’s account after a slim majority voted in a Twitter poll in favor of reinstating Trump, who said, however, that he had no interest in returning to Twitter. He added he would stick with his own social media site Truth Social, the app developed by Trump Media & Technology Group.

Republican Trump, who 10 days ago announced he was running for election again in 2024, was banned on January 8, 2021, from Twitter under its previous owners.

At the time, Twitter said it permanently suspended him because of the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the Capitol. The results of the November 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden were being certified by lawmakers when the Capitol was attacked after weeks of false claims by Trump that he had won.

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Trump repeatedly used Twitter and other sites to falsely claim there had been widespread voter fraud, and had urged supporters to march on the Capitol in Washington to protest.

See also  Donald Trump Said to Step Down as Director of Media Group in June, Weeks Before SEC Subpoena

The attack is being investigated by US prosecutors and a congressional committee.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday on Musk’s statement that Trump did not violate any Twitter terms of service when his account was suspended.

Earlier on Friday, Musk tweeted that calling for violence or incitement to violence on Twitter would result in suspension, after saying on Thursday that Twitter would provide a “general amnesty” to suspended accounts that had not broken the law or engaged in spam.

Replying to a tweet, Musk said it was “very concerning” that Twitter had taken no action earlier to remove some accounts related to the far-left Antifa movement. In response to another tweet asking if Musk considered the statement “trans people deserve to die” as worthy of suspension from the platform, the billionaire said: “Absolutely”.

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Change and chaos have marked Musk’s first few weeks as Twitter’s owner. He has fired top managers and it was announced that senior officials in charge of security and privacy had quit.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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WhatsApp Reportedly Testing Voice Status Update for iOS Beta: All Details

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WhatsApp, the Meta-owned instant messaging app, is reportedly working on a feature that will let iOS users share voice notes in their status updates. As of now, the users can only share pictures, videos and links in their WhatsApp status. However, once the new feature will be rolled out, WhatsApp users on iOS will be reportedly able to share voice notes or voice clips as well in their status updates on the app. According to the report, the messaging platform is testing the feature on iOS Beta for an upcoming update.

According to a report by WhatsApp development tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp users on iOS will be able to share a voice note of up to 30 seconds alongside text in their status updates, similar to what they can currently do in a WhatsApp chat.

The report has also shared a screengrab of the same, hinting at the upcoming feature, which shows a microphone icon on the bottom of the text status.

WhatsApp on iOS users will be required to click on the microphone icon and record their voice to upload it as their status update. They can even add text to it, if needed. It is worth noting that the voice status updates will only be shared with the people selected in the privacy settings. Also, these voice notes will always be end-to-end encrypted.

Not only iOS, but this ability is said to be also being tested in WhatsApp beta for Android’s upcoming update. As of now, this feature is still under development, so it would be very early to say anything.

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Meanwhile, WhatsApp recently rolled out WhatsApp Polls to users on both Android and iOS. The Polls feature was introduced alongside ‘Communities’, a feature that allows users to have separate groups under one umbrella to organise group conversations. WhatsApp Polls lets users create polls within the group with the ability to vote. Facebook Messenger and Telegram currently allow users to add group polls. WhatsApp’s poll feature will be protected by end-to-end encryption.

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