Trolls have gotten more skilled, and are able to convert new trolls without people realizing they have become trolls. You just have to get people angry a few times, and they'll do anything you want. Once they've calmed down, they'll continue doing the same thing for the sake of consistency.
Musk has pissed off the media by calling them out on their lack of ethics, so a storm is coming for Musk that will look very similar to what happened to Gamer-gate when they called out the media. The media literally branded them as women-haters with zero evidence and it stuck.
The only ones I've heard that haven't been trolling are concerns about their financial reports, which are always "concerns about financial reports" with no additional information.
Ok, go ahead and be concerned that the stock is inflated. It's not a real conversation.
Like, for example, look at what happened last week. We were bombarded by an avalanche of negative Elon/Tesla articles. It was consistent. "Tesla Factory is HELL". Like, I must have read "HELL" 3 or 4 times last week. This followed by a failed coup attempt to oust him from the board of directors. Turns out that there were billions of dollars invested in shorts that Tesla stock would plummet.
There was a coordinated effort to tank Tesla and oust him as CEO last week that failed. The result was that stock spiked and the short-sellers lost like 1.5B.
This is the kind of shit that goes on week after week with Tesla.
I would add to that concerns about the current state of their automated driving implementation, as well as the way they are marketing it. I think a lot of those concerns are justified, and I say this as a pretty hardcore fan.
(I don't disagree with the rest of your post.)
NHTSA will spin their wheels for a year on an investigation, and accomplish absolutely nothing.
I know you're spending a lot of time white-knighting for Tesla on HN today, but c'mon, quit being so disingenuous about this. They are not at all perfect and in fact have made some spectacular missteps.
If this layoff article ends up being a legitimate source of concern, it'll be the first time out of like hundreds of articles a month.
And yeah, I'm with you on the state of driving implementation. I think the criticism that calling it auto-pilot is misleading is a legitimate concern, for example. I would call it co-pilot until it's fully automated, and call it auto-pilot once you can take your hands off the wheel. That would be consistent with the naming-scheme they have chosen, wouldn't diminish brand value, and would be more accurate.
But again, it's just every time I read one of these articles, the comments are saturated with anti-Tesla hate that is either coming from Russia, Big Oil, or some day-traders trying to bring the stock down $10 so they can buy a turn a quick profit for the day.