One of Tesla’s biggest anonymous trolls/shorts has been doxxed as an investment manager heavily invested in the oil industry.
He has now deleted his Twitter account, which he used to promote his blog posts about Tesla and attack anyone saying anything that could be perceived as positive on Tesla, after Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly called his boss to complain about his behavior.
We are talking about ‘Montana Skeptic’ who has been using Seeking Alpha, a financial blog aggregator, and Twitter to push the bear case on Tesla for the past 3 years.
Hiding behind his anonymous persona on social media, Montana Skeptic went beyond just pushing the bear case.
He also used the platforms to send insults and attacks to Tesla bulls, bloggers, YouTubers, and reporters discussing anything that he saw as potentially being positive for Tesla, including myself on numerous occasions to the point where I had to block him.
To his credit, he disclosed that he was holding a short position on Tesla and therefore, he benefits from the company’s stock price going down.
But now that his real identity has been revealed to be Larry Fossi, a managing director at Rahr Enterprise, which is reportedly heavily invested in oil, we learn that his motivations could have originated from other reasons.
His signature can be found on transactions of transfer of royalties with oil and gas companies (PDF).
A Twitter user, @shortshorterhmm, doxxed him a week prior to what unfolded this week:
For those of you who missed it, I present you with your Montana Skeptic pic.twitter.com/8ivlSvD4ej
— whowearsshortshorts (@shortshorterhmm) July 15, 2018
Shortly after, Fossi deleted his Twitter account which included hundreds of insults and inflammatory statements.
Later, Fossi told his Twitter friends that he deleted his account because Musk called his boss at Rahr Enterprise to complain:
Guys – I'm beside myself & before you ask, this is NOT a joke – I just got off the phone with Montana Skeptic. He told me that he voluntarily deleted his Twitter account after Elon Musk personally called his boss to complain. I asked for Montana's permission to Tweet this. $TSLA
— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) July 23, 2018
Interestingly, it comes after WSJ car reviewer Dan Neil reportedly deleted his Twitter account after he felt “attacked” on the social media by Tesla trolls and shorts, like Montana Skeptic, following his positive review of the Model 3.
Fossi has often pushed narratives about Tesla that have been proven to be completely wrong.
For example, he predicted that Tesla would deliver fewer than 18,000 Model X’s in 2016. Not only was he wrong by about 40%, but he claimed that the limitation would be demand when it was in fact production, which was limited during the first half of the year.
He also constantly predicted that demand for Tesla vehicles was falling and it has yet to happen. There are plenty of other examples in his body of work at Seeking Alpha.
Update: Tesla sent us the following statement about the situation:
“Stewart Rahr, Lawrence Fossi’s employer, is a longtime Tesla supporter and was one of the first to purchase a Model S. When executives at Rahr Enterprises became aware of Mr. Fossi’s actions, Mr. Fossi volunteered to stop and did.”
Normally I wouldn’t encourage people doxing anonymous users on the internet, but in this case, I don’t even know how Seeking Alpha let this guy post his blogs anonymously.
Also, he has proven to be an internet troll attacking and insulting people online, which is one of the most cowardly things you can do anonymously. Don’t get me wrong, insulting people online even with your real name behind the safety of your keyboard is already weak, but not even being willing to put your name on it is a new level of cowardice.
The fact that he is working for a company heavily invested in the oil industry is certainly interesting, but it doesn’t mean that it is an organized effort by the fossil fuel industry to discredit Tesla.
That said, it does give us a better idea of his background and biases when it comes to commenting on Tesla.
As for Dan Neil deleting his Twitter, I get it, but I think he needs to get tougher skin. I have consistently been attacked by those same trolls for the better part of the past 3 years. At first, I admit that it got to me having been mostly unknown at that point, but after talking to people that went through the same thing, I learned that it is best to ignore them.
It can sometimes be detrimental because you can pass on useful criticism, but it’s not worth it if you have to go through hours of unhelpful hate to get those useful bits and pieces.
But you can’t let them drive you away from things either because then they win. So, come on Dan, get back on Twitter and use that block button!