Elon Musk was briefly locked out of his Twitter account

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Tesla boss Elon Musk says Twitter thought he was hacked and locked him out of his account (Brian Lawless/PA)

Tesla boss and keen tweeter Elon Musk was briefly silenced on Twitter on Tuesday in an apparent mix-up over an earlier tweet.

The business magnate told his 23 million followers that the social network thought he had been hacked and temporarily locked his account in response – although Twitter is not able to confirm incidents on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.

It appears the action may have been carried out as a precautionary move to an earlier tweet, when Mr Musk jokingly posted an anime image, asking users, “Wanna buy some Bitcoin?”, which may have triggered a false alarm at Twitter.

The 47-year old has been involved in a number of fiery conversations on the social network, most recently including a clash with the makers of the game Fortnite.

Mr Musk tweeted an apparently edited image of a headline saying that he had bought Fortnite and deleted it to “save kids from eternal virginity”.

Epic Games hit back, mocking the SpaceX founder for taking a decade to build its first base.

In a recent interview, Mr Musk admitted that an “excruciating” year was taking its toll on him, working up to 120 hours a week and sometimes taking the sedative Ambien to get to sleep.