|Named after||Tesla Ticker Symbol + "Q" which is the NASDAQ notation for bankruptcy|
|Formation||Oct. 7, 2015|
|Type||Anti-Tesla, Networked advocacy, fraud deterrence, Pro-Shorting|
|Lawrence Fossi, @TESLAcharts, @Paul91701736, Martin Tripp|
TSLAQ is a loosely-collected group of largely anonymous individuals critical of Elon Musk and aspects of Tesla, Inc. who primarily organize on Twitter and Reddit in order to share news, openly discuss matters concerning the company and its stock, and coordinate efforts. Edward Niedermeyer, author of Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors, establishes the doxxing of Lawrence Fossi, a Seeking Alpha writer and Tesla short seller, as "catalyz[ing] th[e] loose association of individuals... some of whom were pure financial speculators [...] and others who were motivated by factors other than money." The group has been profiled in a web mini-documentary which included interviews with prominent members @TESLACharts and @Paul91701736.
The group at times exchanges online verbal hostilities with Tesla fans, and Tesla officials such as CEO Elon Musk have actively engaged prominent members. In the latest in a series of communications between the two, sarcastic open-letters were exchanged between Musk and CEO of Greenlight Capital David Einhorn (a noted Tesla bear whose company shorts $TSLA) in early November 2019, with Einhorn directly referencing a website from the TSLAQ community.
Using GoFundMe, TSLAQ members led by Fossi ran a campaign for and contributed to the defense fund, accruing in excess of US$100,000, for fellow member, Randeep Hothi, who was initially sued by Tesla. Mr. Hothi allegedly chased a car full of Tesla employees and attempted to cause an accident by driving erratically to confuse the car's Autopilot system, among other things. The allegations and the request for a temporary restraining order against Hothi was eventually dropped by Tesla.
Some members short Tesla stock as they believe it will lower in value in the future; Tesla was the most shorted stock in 2019, with over $10.5 billion in shorted share value at its peak, although as of November 2019 that value has fallen to $8.3 billion. As per Business Insider, members "[e]xchange research, news articles, and sometimes outlandish conspiracy theories about the company" and "[are] betting on the company’s death and have found much success in irritating the billionaire executive."
According to the LA Times, members believe Tesla is a fraudulent company and its stock will eventually crash. Their self-reported main goal is to "change the mind of Tesla stock bulls and the media." Claims against Elon Musk and Tesla include that Tesla has reached a cliff in demand, and that Tesla is distorting its sales numbers of cars.
- Kolodny, Lora (February 1, 2019). "Anonymous Tesla short sellers who fly over its parking lots taking pictures of cars have a new web site". CNBC. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Mitchell, Russ (April 8, 2019). "Must Reads: The crowd-sourced, social media swarm that is betting Tesla will crash and burn". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Katwalla, Amit (May 5, 2019). "Inside the obsessive Twitter turf war over Elon Musk's Tesla tweets". Wired. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- Niedermeyer, Edward (2019). Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors. BenBella Books, Incorporated. p. 125. ISBN 9781948836326.
- "Tesla: Electric Noise". Real Vision. March 27, 2019. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
- Musk, Elon (June 17, 2018). "How big is your short position? Just curious". twitter.com/elonmusk. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
- Palazzo, Anthony, Hull, Dana (November 11, 2019). "Short seller Einhorn accept's Musk's offer to tour Tesla facilities". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- O'Kane, Sean. "Tesla drops lawsuit against critic after judge asks for evidence". The Verge. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
- D'Souza, Deborah (July 26, 2019). "Tesla Short Sellers net $1.5 Billion in Profits after Q2 Earnings Miss". Investopedia. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
- Dugan, Kevin (October 24, 2019). "Short Sellers Slammed as Tesla Shares Surge the Most in 6 Years". New York Post. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
- Ungarino, Rebecca (April 17, 2019). "Inside Tesla Twitter". Market Insider. Retrieved December 9, 2019.