A video is circulating on social networks that supposedly shows the moment in which Elon Musk fired Vijaya Gadde, general counsel and legal, political and trust director on Twitter, live. However, it is false that such a scene occurred in front of the cameras. The sequence is really a montage that used three interviews to parody the firing of the Twitter executive, after Elon Musk took control of the American company.
“Elon Musk fires Twitter’s ‘director of censorship’ on air, after acquiring the company for 44 billion dollars” (sic), says the message that has been published on Facebook and Twitter since October 30. Some Twitter users have identified that it is a satire. “Excellent montage”, reads one of the messages on that social network. However, other messages share it as if it were real. Elon Musk fired the Twitter executive last October 27according to several media outlets, but it was not an episode of which there are, at the moment, public records.
The video in which Elon Musk fires a Twitter executive is a parody
The 19-second sequence allegedly shows Elon Musk and Vijaya Gadde together in a recording studio with headphones on and accompanied by two other men. Gadde makes an intervention in English to say that “I think we have failed in a couple of things and I want to admit it”, to which Musk responds that “failure carries a great penalty”. And he concludes: “You’re fired.”
In the upper left corner of the viral video you can read “@damonimani”. A search in Google throws the accounts on various social networks of the Danish producer Damon Imani. The stream we’re verifying actually appears on your profile. Instagram with the following description: “Video – Elon Musk fired the head of Twitter censorship on air!”.
It is also published in Twitter on October 29, 2022 with the clarification that it is a parody. Said viral content has abrupt cuts between one sequence and another that show that it is a montage. Damon Imani describes himself on his website as an “audio and visual editing expert”. The “majority of the content” that he publishes, he says, is “journalism and political humor videos.”
The parody video was edited with three excerpts from three different interviews
The scenes in which Musk and Gadde appear correspond to interviews they gave to the video podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, but at different times. A Google search with the keywords “Vijaya Gadde + The Joe Rogan Experience” leads to an episode of the show uploaded to Youtube in March 2019.
Similarly, a chapter appears with Musk uploaded to the same Twitter account. Youtube on September 7, 2018. Social media users who have taken the video for granted have celebrated the alleged firing of the Twitter executive that Musk made live: “Musk fired the ultra-leftist Viyaja Gadde on air (…) the responsible for censoring Donald Trump on Twitter.”
However, that moment did not happen live. When comparing the sequences that have gone viral in 2022 with the real ones available on the YouTube channel of The Joe Rogan Experience Musk is noted to be wearing the same outfit he wore when he went on the show in 2019, i.e. a black shirt, on top of a gray one, with the caption “occupy”.
Also, Musk didn’t say on the 2019 show that “failure comes with a big penalty, you’re fired.” Damon Imani, creator of the montage, confirmed to Newtral.es that he used three videos, and two of them correspond to the podcast of The Joe Rogan Experience. Imani extracted this sentence from a third video in which Musk talked about being fired. “Musk really talks about business and management and mentions that people are fired,” she explains to Newtral.es.
Imani also explained to the media fact checking Peruvian CheckerFrom the newspaper The Republic, that in his productions he uses extracts of sound and adds effects to them to build sentences. “It doesn’t always sound natural, but it works in some cases,” he told the Peruvian media, a member of the international network of verifiers IFCNlike Newtral.es.
Consultation with Danish producer Damon Imani
Danish producer Damon Imani’s website
Instagram profile of Danish producer Damon Imani
Twitter profile of Danish producer Damon Imani
The Joe Rogan Experience YouTube channel
Verification of the newspaper La República, Peru