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Elon Musk Takes on Another Giant of Silicon Valley

Tesla CEO takes a shot at a big tech company even as he is in a standoff with the board of Twitter, which he is trying to acquire for $44 billion.
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Elon Musk fears no one and he wants to show it. 

Take Apple  (AAPL) , the world's most valuable company with a market value of $2.406 trillion: the chief executive officer of Tesla  (TSLA) believes that the manufacturer of the iPhone has not invented anything for a while. 

Or Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook  (FB) , which will fully become Meta Platforms on June 9: Musk thinks the social media giant is too powerful. And he even goes further when it comes to talking about Zuckerberg with whom he has a stormy relationship.

In April, he called the CEO of Facebook "Zuckerberg the Fourteenth," in an apparent nod to Louis the XIV, the French king famous for his hubris and excess  

'NonStop Scam Ads'

As for Jeff Bezos, the founder of online retail giant Amazon AMZN, Musk had this to say recently in a tweet:  "If he wants to get to orbit, less partying and more work would be advisable." Bezos runs Blue Origin, a space tourism company that offers sub-orbital flights. Musk's SpaceX routinely launches satellites into orbit on its reusable rockets.

Musk questioned the credibility of Bill Gates, the co-founder of software giant Microsoft  (MSFT) , because the latter deigned to short Tesla shares.

Until now, Musk had avoided criticizing another of the top 10 most valued companies in the world, Google (Alphabet)  (GOOGL) .

But now  the richest man in the world has just attacked the flagship of the internet giant and one of its cash cows - YouTube.

"YouTube seems to be nonstop scam ads," Musk posted on Twitter on June 7.

His tweet drew many comments of support from billionaires and bitcoin evangelists like Michael Saylor and Tyler Winklevoss.

"We report #Bitcoin scam videos to YouTube 24/7/365 but the scammers just repost instantly," Saylor commented. "10,000+ fake videos over the past year. Since it is expensive to report scams & easy to launch new ones, the attacks continue. @YouTube needs a security deposit system to punish scammers."

"Are you a [insert state] homeowner? Here's how you can get solar for free blah blah blah..." commented another Twitter user, referring of some of the scam ads. "Stop what your doing right now if you want to become a millionaire like me in 5 easy steps..."

Musk replied to that one by saying that scammers were using Tesla and in particular its solar panel business to defraud people.

"Yeah, exactly," the tech tycoon agreed. "Also, other companies are using the Tesla name for solar and Powerwall. Will put a stop to that."

Buying Google?

Winklevoss and bitcoin evangelist Anthony Pompliano then jokingly recommended that Musk buy Google after he completes his Twitter acquisition.

"You should buy it and install some real management that supports free speech and knows how to lead engineering teams to identify and stop scams," Winklevoss said.

Musk didn't respond but instead tweeted a laughing emoji when a user commented with images suggesting YouTube basks in the sun when there's scams but flexes muscles whenever someone swears.

YouTube didn't respond immediately to a request for comment from TheStreet.

Elon Musk is currently balking at completing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter over the issue of fake and spam accounts.. He threatened to withdraw his offer if the platform did not give him additional information on the exact number of fake accounts. He's suggested it could be much higher than the figure of 5% officially advanced by Twitter.

Musk and SpaceX were used for false ads -- fake SpaceX digital coin -- on Youtube when the billionaire was to present the iconic SNL TV show in 2021.

"In early May [2021], scammers compromised Twitter and YouTube accounts to promote a series of cryptocurrency scams ahead of Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, stealing over $10 million dollars in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Doge tokens. The scams conducted via YouTube were the most successful, resulting in a theft of over $9 million," a report from risk management firm Tenable found.

YouTube has also been the subject of complaints for allowing crypto scams to be carried, including a one from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 2020. Scammers had used Wozniak's image to promote a bitcoin scam.

YouTube has an aggressive content policy against misinformation. For example, the platform recently blocked Russian state media RT and SPutnik in Europe following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

YouTube, on the other hand, does not sanction swear words in music videos.