Wednesday 20 January 2021 10:44 am

Tesla is hiring someone to defend Elon Musk on social media

Elon Musk’s indiscretions on social media have moved stock markets, led to a high-publicised defamation lawsuit and landed him a $20m fine.

But it seems the blunt billionaire is now going on the defensive, hiring someone to fend off attacks by Twitter trolls.

A job advert posted by Tesla, Musk’s booming electric car maker, said the company is hiring for a customer support specialist whose responsibilities include handling online complaints directed at the chief executive.

“Tesla Energy Support Specialists handle a variety of customer issues while delivering on world class customer service,” the original job listing read.

“The role of a specialist is to resolve or escalate complaints through appropriate channels and address social media escalations directed at the CEO with critical thinking.”

The advert has since been updated to remove the references to “social media escalations” after the company was widely mocked online.

Musk, who this month overtook Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person, is an ardent Twitter user, sharing regular updates about his latest ventures with his 42.6m followers.

He is often subjected to criticism from disgruntled customers, who air complaints about Tesla vehicles.

But the testy tycoon is also known for his own online interventions, which frequently land him in hot water.

Musk was embroiled in a defamation lawsuit after referring to Vernon Unsworth, who was involved in the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from a cave in Thailand in 2018, as “pedo guy”.

The Tesla boss ultimately won the case after arguing that “pedo guy” was a common insult in South Africa, where he grew up, and did not imply Unsworth was a paedophile.

Musk was also forced to step down as Tesla chairman and pay a $20m fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission over a tweet stating he would take the company private at $420 per share.

The claim, which had no basis and was intended as a cannabis joke, caused significant market fluctuation.

The new appointment comes months after Tesla reportedly laid off its entire PR department.

The company did not list a salary for the role, which is fully remote, but said it included full benefits such as a healthcare plan.