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Short Sellers drove WSJ Reviewer Dan Neil to deletion of his Twitter


is a Planet
Nov 17, 2015
Auburn, AL
In what looks like a coordinated attack from Mark Spiegel, Montana Skeptic, and others, Pulitzer Prize winner and Wall Street Journal's auto reviewer Dan Neil deleted his Twitter account after writing a glowing review of the Model 3 Performance version. It appears that short sellers were completely blindsided this week by a combination of the WSJ's review and Munro's teardown revelations. In both the review's comment section and Dan Neil's twitter, he was criticized harshly in what presumably looks like a mountain of frustration unleashed by short sellers. Dan Neil, being an tough but honest automotive review defended himself in both places. Considering the comment section of any news article can be like the wild west, especially in an article like this, Dan must've had a fervent resolve in believing what he wrote. Others even reacted with surprise to his bravery. Still others expressed their support or were positively receptive to his review.

However today, after hours of harassment from short sellers over trivial things like why he hasn't test driven the barely available I-Pace (especially given that this is his first review of the Model 3), Dan Neil deleted his Twitter account. Multiple people have taken note of this, including Montana Skeptic who boomed with pride calling Dan a "worshiper". This is especially curious as Dan Neil famously bet against Elon Musk that Tesla wouldn't be able to deliver a practical EV to its customers by the end of 2012, the Model S. Upon Tesla fulfilling their promises, Dan made good on the friendly bet and donated $1000 to Doctors without Borders.

But given how haters have been seriously critical over these mysterious "Musk Bros" attacking anyone who Elon Musk disagrees with on Twitter, I felt it was important to bring this to light to a larger audience. In fact it makes me wonder... Are those "Musk Bros" even Elon fans? Or perhaps it's yet another smear campaign launched by haters. Post thoughts, feelings, or more information below.


May 3, 2016
I happened to have his page open in a browser that I haven't yet refreshed.

Here were the most recent comments. Note who he's replying to over and over.



is a Planet
Nov 17, 2015
Auburn, AL
I did a plain search and there were almost a thousand reactions on twitter in a little over 24 hours. Usually the most Dan ever gets is a handful a day. I downloaded a backup of about 850 of them in case if anyone tries deleting their tweets for some cleanup action. Also, just to note, Montana's defended himself saying he's never coordinated a thing with Mark Spiegel and another person said that they have a secret Tesla Shorter's Discord server.

And just to be clear, I don't know for sure that this is why Dan deleted his Twitter, it could be something completely unrelated to the blowback he's gotten. So if my post describes an explanation, it's only a potential explanation.

EDIT: Okay one automotive reporter, Urvaksh Karkaria, did claim Dan deleted his Twitter account because of the responses. I don't know if he knows this personally but he was one of the first people to note it.
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I’m going to keep saying this until everyone gets it: the hate on the internet is being amplified 20x (at least). There are companies out there that will create fake accounts and harass anyone and everything that is against a certain perspective. This happened first in politics, and is now happening in business. This is cyber warfare.
Well this is mildly interesting, I have no recollection what I've done on Twitter to be blocked by this guy, but I am! Went to click on the link here and apparently he blocked me.

Maybe he knows I'm one of the tens of thousands of extremely happy Tesla owners and he's just trying to spare me his contrary points of view? Maybe he just randomly blocks people who like their cars?

As @soundanswer I may not be much of a somebody on twitter, but it appears this fella would like to appear as nobody to me. Ha!


Active Member
Feb 13, 2013
Neil: "luxury-lifestyle junket to Portugal"

"Junket" is exactly the word I found myself using, as the barrage of positive I-pace press came out. Reviews have gushed positively about stuff since before the internet, but the capture the automotive and oil industry(ies) attempt on messaging is right there with Russia.

Part of why "#Pravduh" works.
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Online hate and abuse are bananas. Ultimately it's a cultural problem because these behaviours exist offline too, in no short supply. But 1) it's easier to be cruel and hostile to someone when you can't see their face. And 2) there is something about the landscape of the Internet that disproportionately amplifies abusive voices. One hunch: people who are abusive are much more vocal than others, often being obsessive about the targets of their abuse.

There are a handful of folks who are extremely vocal online, and who are also bullying and abusive, who seem to have decided it's their life purpose to take down Tesla. They have devoted their lives to something they hate. The unceasing, day in, day out tweets and comments are disturbing. I have 1600 comments on Seeking Alpha and it's had horrible psychological effects. It boggles my mind to see people who have 10,000 or 20,000 comments.

I can understand being obsessed about something you love. But that kind of obsessive hate feels scary and dark. It reminds me of my experience with radical leftist activism. Obsession with what you hate is a dark path to walk. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.

I've had perfectly lovely interactions with people who disagree with me about Tesla. I would love to have more. When someone can challenge you intellectually and yet remain respectful and friendly, that is a gift. It's fun and it's an important way to advance your thinking. This is not about disagreement. It's about abuse.

Take for example Montana Skeptic (whoever that is). His interactions with me on Seeking Alpha were totally erratic. At times friendly and complimentary, at times shockingly hostile and insulting. When Seeking Alpha staff removed some of his comments because they broke the rules, this is how he lashed out at me in a direct message:


This followed comments and other messages that were similarly abusive. To me, this kind of behaviour is a sign that someone is not emotionally healthy. I feel empathy for Montana Skeptic and others like him because I think how badly you behave is a measure of how much suffering you experience. A person must be suffering a lot to behave like this.

This is one major reason I think the answer is not to counteract this bad behaviour with the same bad behaviour. I see a lot of people on Twitter creating accounts like this and I don’t like it. I block those accounts. Online hate and abuse perpetuated by people who happen to be pro-Tesla is equally bad.

Dana Hull is a journalist who seems to get a lot of hate from people who are pro-Tesla, which is awful. No one should be harassed online for any reason. Moreover, Dana seems to be a perfectly fine journalist who is doing her job well. Disagreement is good and healthy, but harassment is not. I find this example particularly surprising and disconcerting because Dana’s coverage on Tesla seems pretty neutral or even positive overall, adjusted for journalists’ inherent focus on problems and bad news. I can imagine that Dana might feel how Dan Neil feels. Tesla fans are capable of the same abusive behaviour as Tesla critics.

Montana Skeptic’s allusion to critics going at him “tooth and claw” (perhaps those critics are the same sort of Tesla fans who go after Dana) reinforces my hunch that experiencing online abuse contributes to people becoming abusive online themselves. I worry that Elon is absorbing too much online abuse and it’s pushing him down that path. Maybe he should hire some assistants to read his @ replies for him. I used to feel sure that he did that until I noticed him responding to random mean tweets from random people with almost no followers. I can’t imagine the amount of abuse targeted at someone with millions of Twitter followers. I’ve experienced a lot of abuse with virtually no following at all. I can see the effect it’s had on me. I hope Elon stops exposing himself to that abuse.

I don’t know if there is anything we can do to make people stop abusing. My hunch is that people need to have that awakening for themselves and seek healing for their suffering on their own. I don’t think you can persuade, coerce, bully, or beg someone into doing that.

But there is probably a lot more we can do to protect people from abuse online. Probably number one on that list is just awareness and education. Once you have a clear understanding of what is abuse and what isn’t, it is easier to decide who to engage with and who to block. Setting firm boundaries is the key to avoiding a lot of unnecessary suffering caused by other people’s bad behaviour.

It might also help in a situation like Dan Neil was in for someone to discreetly let the person who is being targeted know that one or more of the people he’s engaging with have a long history of abusive behaviour. If someone has a reputation for abusing or trolling, it is easier to ignore them. That’s why I shared my experience with Montana Skeptic. I also feel more comfortable doing that because he’s anonymous and can just abandon his online persona anytime without any real life consequences.

So, in summary:
  • Please do not draw the line between pro-Tesla and anti-Tesla.
  • Instead, draw the line between disagreement, which is good, and abuse, which is bad.
  • Please do not seek to harass, abuse, or troll people who have harassed, abused, or trolled others. This is equally bad and only perpetuates the problem further.
  • Instead, extend support to the person who is being harassed, abused, or trolled, and let them know if the person who is targeting them has a history of abuse — that may be what they need to hear to give themselves permission to block the person abusing them.
  • Instead, understand that people who are hurt often hurt others. We may not be able to help someone in that position, but at least we can avoid adding to their pain.
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Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
United States
I've had perfectly lovely interactions with people who disagree with me about Tesla. I would love to have more. When someone can challenge you intellectually and yet remain respectful and friendly, that is a gift. It's fun and it's an important way to advance your thinking. This is not about disagreement. It's about abuse.

You can't have a difference of opinion if you have a difference of fact; Most of the Tesla bears have lost their grip on reality... not worth the time to debate.

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