Elon Musk has reasons for Super Bowl Sunday jitters


Elon Musk has reasons to be nervous about Super Bowl Sunday. He’s CEO of both Twitter and Tesla, and each company has something to dread during the Big Game.

For Twitter, potential glitches are a concern. On Wednesday, Twitter users across North America were unable to send messages, with an error message saying they were “over the daily limit for sending tweets.”

“Twitter may not be working as expected for some of you. Sorry for the trouble. We’re aware and working to get this fixed,” the company tweeted Wednesday.

As Fortune reported, Musk asked employees to “please pause for now on new feature development in favor of maximizing system stability and robustness, especially with the Super Bowl coming up.”

According to a Thursday report from Platformer, which follows the company closely, an employee had accidentally deleted data for an internal service that sets rate limits for using Twitter—and the team that worked on that service left company in November. That same month, Musk told staff to leave Twitter if they were not onboard with an “extremely hardcore” work culture.

“It’s chaos here right now, so we’re shipping chaos,” one worker told Platformer. 

The social network faltering while football fans post about one of America’s biggest sporting events would obviously be problematic. 

As for Tesla, the electric vehicle maker has a different kind of problem on Super Bowl Sunday. A fierce critic of its full self-driving (FSD) technology is running a Super Bowl ad calling for the feature to be banned. 

The ad, paid for by tech entrepreneur Dan O’Dowd, will run in Washington, D.C. and some state capitals, including Austin, Texas, home to Tesla’s headquarters. O’Dowd and his group the Dawn Project are longtime critics of the company’s FSD feature. 

Tesla threatened the group with legal action last August after its viral video showed a Tesla purportedly in FSD mode hitting a child-sized mannequin. In a cease-and-desist letter to O’Dowd, Tesla called the Dawn Project’s tests “seriously deceptive and likely fraudulent.”

Nevertheless, the Super Bowl ad shows similar scenes, with a Tesla—again purportedly in FSD mode—hitting a mannequin and a stroller and driving past “Do Not Enter” signs.

Tesla faces lawsuits and scrutiny from regulators over its driver assistance systems. Last month, reports emerged that a 2016 Tesla demo about FSD mode had been, according to testimony from a company engineer, staged.

Fortune reached out to Twitter and Tesla but received no immediate replies.

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