Tesla Energy Runs a Social Media Detective Squad to Defend Elon Musk

Elon Musk of Tesla confused
Getty/Peter Parks

According to former Tesla employees, the company’s solar power unit Tesla Energy has a dedicated team for hunting down complaints on social media and convincing customers to delete negative comments.

Business Insider reports that Tesla’s solar-power unit, Tesla Energy, has built a team of more than 20 employees to comb through social media and review sites for customer complaints. The team then attempts to convince users to remove negative comments, according to a former employee.

A separate team of nine people looked specifically for posts aimed at company CEO Elon Musk, according to the ex-employee. This would appear to line up with a job ad Tesla Energy put out in January for a “Customer Support Specialist” who would address “social media escalations” aimed at Musk.

A former manager at Tesla Energy who worked at the company until last year also said a dedicated team searcher for social media complaints. “They would basically just look up #TeslaEnergy, #Elon, just anything that has to do with Tesla and energy and Elon,” they said.

As well as resolving the customer’s issue, both employees said staff were instructed to politely ask customers to delete their social media complaints. The first former employee said that they did not work on either side of the social media complaint teams and usually dealt with complaints that came through Tesla’s customers-service channels, but were expected to scour the internet for unhappy customers in their “downtime.” The employee said: “There’s almost no downtime and that’s what makes it difficult.”

The former manager said that posting on social media was often a faster way for customers to have the company address complaints than going through customer service. A Tesla Energy customer told Insider they received this advice from their dedicated project manager when they had problems with their solar roof contract.

“She told me to go online and complain … on Twitter or Facebook, because she said the only thing this company listens to is social media sentiment,” the customer said.

Tesla Energy customers told Business Insider in May that the company had ghosted them for weeks on end. One customer said that a Tesla rep called him after he complained on Twitter.

Musk isn’t only attempting to shut down criticism of him and his companies in America; in July it was reported that Tesla asked China to use its censorship powers to shut down criticism of its products on social media.

Breitbart News reported:

At the Shanghai Auto Show in April, a woman who claimed that a brake failure in her Model 3 had caused a crash, nearly killing four of her family members, staged a solitary protest at the Tesla booth. After climbing on top of a vehicle wearing a T-shirt that read “brake lost control” in Chinese, she was quickly hauled away by guards.

Tesla apologized for the error following the wide criticism the company’s response received on social media and from state-run news sources.

Per Bloomberg Businessweek, Tesla “complained to the government over what it sees as unwarranted attacks on social media, and asked Beijing to use its censorship powers to block some of the posts.”

U.S. legislators have previously expressed concern over the potential spillover effects for national security that can come from the close relationship that Musk — who is a major Pentagon contractor as the CEO of SpaceX— has with the communist regime.

Read more at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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