Yesterday, the tech genius responded to a tweet from Alex Berenson, a former editorial writer and reporter for the New York Times. Berenson had shared a picture of an email from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service.
All this Fuss for a Book?
As the screenshot showed, Amazon informed him that they had taken down his book, “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns Part 1.” Amazon’s excuse was that his book had violated its guidelines, as it wasn’t offering books with unverified statistics on the coronavirus pandemic.
Responding to the tweet, Musk called Amazon’s decision to take the book down as “insane.” He added,
“Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!”
While big tech companies like Amazon do have a reputation for censoring content and materials for no reason, there is a hint of self-serving in Musk’s tweet. Berenson has been a vocal critic of the coronavirus lockdown, and he provided factual backing of his stance in the book.
As Berenson explained in an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News, the book contains data and facts alone. Still, Amazon decided to pull.
Musk’s Trail of Self-Serving Actions
Musk has also had a history of criticizing the government’s response to the pandemic. Last month, he drew the ire of many after going on a tweetstorm aimed at forcing the government to reopen the economy.
Amid the pandemic’s worst effects on the market, Musk took to Twitter to ask the government to “give people their freedom back.”
He linked the tweet to a Wall Street Journal article that suggested that the lockdown had destroyed more lives than it saved.
Musk eventually clarified that not every shop should open, although his argument was against keeping the entire country “de facto house arrest.”
The Twitter outburst came a day after the government of California forced Tesla to delay the planned reopening of its car factory in Fremont. Six counties in the Bay Area had extended their lockdown procedures till the end of May, thus putting the electric vehicle manufacturer under more pressure to ramp up production and fulfill sale numbers.
Musk’s confrontations with the Californian government have been quite extensive. Early last month, Tesla sued local authorities after the Alameda County health department prevented its Fremont plant from opening.
According to a tweet, the billionaire called the restrictions a “power grab.” Tesla confirmed that Governor Gavin Newsom had ordered for manufacturing plants to reopen, and the company added that the health department was going against both state and federal guidelines.
Musk also threatened to move his company’s headquarters out of California. In a follow-up tweet, he said,
“Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future.”
As for Berenson, he has confirmed that Amazon has reinstated his book. While the company apologized publicly for making a “mistake,” the former reporter confirmed to Fox News that they never reached out to him to explain why they pulled the book down.