After taking control of Twitter, Elon Musk fired almost half of his employees. Since the end of October 2022, a video shared thousands of times on social networks in various languages shows the millionaire allegedly “firing live” the legal officer of the platform, Vijaya Gadde, while both were participating in the recording of a podcast. Although the executive was fired by Musk, the video does not show that moment; It is a satirical montage, as confirmed by its author to AFP.
Screenshot of a tweet made on November 11, 2022
Among those dismissed was Vijaya Gaddethe person in charge of legal affairs, considered a “moral authority” from the social network. But the viral video does not show the moment of the dismissal.
In the opening seconds of the sequence, Gadde admits “have failed in several points“, before being apparently interrupted by Elon Musk, who declares: “Failure comes with a heavy penalty. You’re fired“. Several seconds pass and then an image of an empty chair appears, which is assumed to be that of Vijaya Gadde.
The viral video was published originally by @damonimani on Oct 29, 2022. Same day user answered to his tweet noting that it was a parody. He also posted the sequence on his account instagramwhere he also stated “parody”.
Interviewed by AFP on November 4, 2022, Damon Imani confirmed that he was behind the setup. “The video is made up of three different videos. Two are from Joe Rogan’s podcast and the last one is from a video in which he talks about business and management.“, said.
At minute 26 and 31 seconds, in response to a question about the suspension of certain accounts on the social network, Gadde says: “I think we have failed on several points”, and goes on to talk about a lack of communication with users regarding the rules of Twitter.
Comparison made on November 8, 2022 between a screenshot of the viral video (I) and a YouTube video from 2019
Elon Musk did not participate in said broadcast. A reverse lookup with the tool Yandex revealed that his picture was taken from another episode from the podcast, on September 7, 2018. On that occasion, Musk discussed the future of artificial intelligence.
Comparison made on November 8, 2022 between a screenshot of the viral video (I) and a YouTube video from 2018
However, the audio in which Musk is heard saying “you are fired” is not from that broadcast. It comes from another interview, from the February 28, 2020released on March 2, 2020 on the YouTube channel “The Space Archive”, as explained by the Indian portal The Quint in an article published on November 4, 2022.
His exact words, cut in the viral video, were the following, translated into Spanish: “Innovation is rewarded. Making a mistake along the way doesn’t carry a heavy penalty, but not trying to innovate at all carries a heavy penalty: you’ll be fired.”
AFP Factual has already verified false content linked to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.