The billionaire’s offer to fund legal bills has raised eyebrows amongst those who were fired from Twitter following his takeover.
Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has offered to pay the legal fees for people who were “unfairly treated” by their employer due to their activities on the platform.
“If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” he posted to his 151.9 million followers. He added there was “no limit” to the amount he would fund.
Many of the replies to Musk’s tweet were from parody or impersonation accounts with verified blue ticks, which can now be bought for around $8 (€7.29) a month.
When he was in the process of buying the social media platform, Musk described himself as a “free speech absolutist,” leading to fears amongst some activists that the platform may become more open to hate speech.
Many accounts that were permanently banned or suspended under the previous ownership of Twitter were restored, including that of former US president Donald Trump who was kicked off the platform for tweets deemed to be at risk of inciting violence related to the January 6 attack at the Capitol in Washington DC.
Musk’s offer was met with a number of requests for help for former Twitter employees who were unceremoniously fired after he took over the company - which some pointed out at the time was at odds with his “free speech absolutist” stance.
Musk goes after NGO
Last week, it was revealed a lawyer representing X threatened independent researchers who have studied hate speech and disinformation on the platform.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) said Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, sent a letter accusing the organisation of making “a series of troubling and baseless claims that appear calculated to harm Twitter generally, and its digital advertising business specifically”.
CCDH called the legal threats “a brazen attempt to try to hide the truth about his own failures,” adding: “We stand by our research. Billionaires can't bully us”.
Meanwhile, a billionaire cage fight first proposed in June could be back on the cards. Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg told Musk “send me location” in response to Musk saying he was up for a cage match.
The fight with Zuckerberg, who is reported to have won ju-jitsu fights in the past, looked to be off after his mother Maye Musk said it was cancelled.
On August 6, however, Musk tweeted he was “lifting weights throughout the day” adding the fight will be streamed on X. No date has yet been confirmed, and it remains to be seen whether Maye Musk will allow her son to take part.