The billionaire who’s mused about firing 75% of Twitter’s staff, who loves to post ridiculous memes on the platform, and who, in recent days, has used it to tout the impressive sales of his Burnt Hair fragrance was all smiles as he strolled into Twitter HQ on Wednesday, October 26, wearing a dark short-sleeved shirt and brandishing an actual sink. “Let that sink in,” Elon Musk dad-joked, following another prolific day of tweeting that saw the incoming Twitter owner also use his account to blast the mainstream media and to dunk on The New York Times to his 110 million followers.
Does it need to be said that this is a weird time at Twitter right now?
Two days from now, majority ownership of the 16-year-old, San Francisco-based company will be in the hands of a man known for building electric cars and rockets; for selling limited edition joke products like flamethrowers; who once ripped the coronavirus lockdowns as “fascist“; who urged listeners in a random EDM song not to doubt their vibe; who’s seemed at times a little too cozy with Russians on Twitter; and who’s left people wondering why in God’s name he’s spending billions of dollars he didn’t have to own a company whose employees largely dislike him and whose lawyers sued him to go through with the purchase after he tried to back out of it.
The once and future ‘Chief Twit’
Lest anyone still remain unsure of whether or not Elon is, in fact, doing this, he’s also just changed his Twitter bio to read “Chief Twit,” and his location now reads: “Twitter HQ.”
Musk told his co-investors this week that he plans to close his $44 billion buyout of Twitter by Friday, which is also the day that he’s said he’ll address the company’s workforce.
That would be the same workforce, by the way, that circulated an open letter in recent days protesting his plans to fire most of them. “We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires,” the letter reads.
Meanwhile, he’s taking over the company at a time when a new report finds that the service’s most active tweeters hardly tweet at all anymore. That’s something Elon himself tweeted about not long after joining the company’s board, telling his followers in an April post: “Most of these ‘top’ accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?”
To his uber-fans, he’s a free-speech champion who’s now putting his money where his mouth is and telling the haters that he’s got a blank space, baby, and he’ll write your name. Critics, naturally, see something far more sinister at hand in his purchase of the company, along the lines of this headline in an Irish newspaper on Wednesday that reads: “What happens to Twitter under a megalomaniac?”
What will happen, indeed? About the only thing we can say with some measure of certainty at this point, about Elon taking over on Friday, requires us to borrow the words of a since-banned Twitter user:
“Will be wild.”