Wall Street Journal reporter Dan Neil has deleted his Twitter account following severe backlash over his recent Tesla Model 3 review — from both Tesla fans and critics.
Dan Neil, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, recently published his first review of Tesla’s Model 3 electric car. The review was quite balanced, in fact, Neil was quite complimentary of the car, writing:
I’m no financial analyst, but I do know cars. If you were hoping Tesla TSLA, -3.80% would fail on account of the Model 3 I’ve got bad news: This thing is magnificent, a little rainbow-farting space ship, so obviously representative of the next step in the history of autos. I know there are a lot of Tesla bears, haters and cynics out there. Tesla boss Elon Musk makes it easy. But in the spirit of charity I think we can all agree many brilliant people are putzes.
But Neil also had some criticisms of the car and its assembly saying:
The factory in Fremont is a dimly lit, vertically integrated madhouse. The place is the Kobe beef of lean production, with subassemblies and panels stacked to the rafters. About 30 percent of the Model 3’s robotic assemblers are hanging from above, to increase what one engineer called “manufacturing density.” Jeez. Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times.
But despite Neil’s largely positive review, both Tesla fans and detractors took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction over the review. Some critics accused Neil of being biased towards Tesla or owning stock in the company, while others questioned why Dan hadn’t reviewed other electric cars or Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3 car (which is not yet available.)
Here are just some of the tweets that Neil was bombarded with following his review, which were captured by auto journalism site Tire Meets Road:
Neil isn’t one to back down from criticism and replied to many of the tweets he received:
However, a short time later, Neil deactivated his Twitter account. It would seem that any discussion about Tesla and Elon Musk often devolves into a battle between fanboys and detractors. Any well-rounded analysis of Tesla’s products and market strategy has no place in online discourse — you’re either with Elon Musk or against him.
Neil has reportedly not replied to a request for comment from Jalopnik about his account deletion, but his account currently remains deactivated.