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Elon Musk’s Tesla tweets could tweak social-media rules

Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk has made a habit of tweeting Tesla news

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk is not afraid of pushing the envelope — either in business or in the fast-evolving world of social media.

But Musk’s tweets about the electric-car company raise a fresh round of questions about how and when social media can be used to divulge market-sensitive information to the public.

More companies are using social media to disseminate their news — it’s cheap, fast, and tailored to reach millennials, a prized demographics.

Earlier this week, Musk lit up Twitter with a message about a “major new Tesla product line.” Tesla shares jumped, almost instantly boosting the company’s market capitalization by more than $1 billion.

Tesla TSLA, +3.43% shares got another pop when Musk and Tesla’s main Twitter feed highlighted an April Fools’ joke launched on the company’s website.

Most chief executives and entrepreneurs, however, don’t announce corporate news via Twitter Inc. TWTR, -0.23% On Twitter, they typically react to general news, comment on news about their companies after the fact, or offer a bit of color about their day-to-day lives and whereabouts.

Some are not active at all on social media. Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief...