A video has gone viral on Facebook in which the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, fires one of his alleged employees over the course of what appears to be a recording of a podcast or radio show. It wouldn’t be too surprising, considering the chaos that engulfed the company after his arrival, including staff halving and attempts to overturn the way accounts are verified. But, while plausible, it is not what actually happened.
For those in a hurry:
- In a viral video, Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and new owner of Twitter, can be seen firing an employee of the company linked to the social network live.
- In reality, however, the episode never happened.
- The video that resumes the alleged moment of the dismissal was made by editing together pieces of different clips.
- Its author shared it specifying how it was a satirical content. However, many users took it seriously.
“Elon Musk, new owner of Twitter, fired the head of censorship on the air,” it reads in a post shared on Facebook. Attached is a video, also shared from this other user, who writes: “Elon Musk fires Vijaya Gadde, former head of Twitter’s legal, policy, trust and security department, on live radio.” In this post more details are added:
«Here’s how Elon Musk fires Twitter’s “boss” censorship live. The woman in the video is Vijaya Gadde, head of legal at Twitter until 10/27/2022. This is the executive of the company’s legal department who made the decision to be able to exclude Trump from Twitter. In 2021, at 48, he earned $18 million, and the pupil of Jack Dorsey, the founder, is obviously a Democrat who grew up in a major Silicon Valley studio. Twitter will soon be a mouth of fire for Trump and many truths will be revealed. Nothing and no one is going to stop what has to happen!”
Elon Musk took control of Twitter last October 28, after buying the social network for the modest sum of 44 billion euros. He immediately began disbanding his board of directors, firing among others Vijaya Gaddethe general director Parag Agrawal and the chief financial officer Ned Segal. Musk then dismissed about half of Twitter’s staff (approx 7,500 employees). The decision came as no surprise, as they had been circulating for some time rumors about his intentions, but the brutality of the method still created a stir, despite the fact that after a few days some of the fired were recalled.
The story, in any case, has little to do with the offending video. We note that the source is an account that is called @damonimani. The account is linked to Danish video producer Damon Imani, who he posts regularly humorous montages. We find on his accounts Instagram And Twitter the video of Vijaya Gadde and Elon Musk, posted on October 29, 2022, with the mention “parody” in the Instagram post and below the tweet.
The interview with Vijaya Gadde, from which several images used in the offending video come, dates back to an episode broadcast on March 5, 2019 on the Youtube channel from Joe Rogan. The sentence he pronounces in the “satirical” video (“I think we have failed on several points”) comes at the minute 26.31, in response to a question about the ban of some accounts from the social network. In particular, the issue of questionable transparency in the communication to users of any changes in the rules of the social network was explored.
The excerpts showing Elon Musk were instead taken from another episode of the show “The Joe Regan experience”, which aired on September 7, 2018. In this episode, Elon Musk talks about the future of artificial intelligence. But these clips alone are not enough to complete the puzzle: the audio used in the video, in which the billionaire can be heard saying “failure carries a heavy penalty” and “you’re fired”, comes from a third source.
The reference is to another interviewconduct on February 28, 2020 and published on March 2 on the YouTube channel “The Space archive”. «Innovation is rewarded, making a mistake along the way does not come with a big penalty, but failure to try to innovate at all comes with a big penalty. You’ll be fired» says Musk. That is: «Innovation is rewarded, making a mistake along the way is not penalized, but not attempting to innovate at all carries a heavy penalty. You will be fired.”
Elon Musk didn’t fire a live employee. The video that resumes the alleged moment of the dismissal was made by editing together pieces of different clips. Its author shared it specifying how it was a satirical content. However, many users took it seriously.
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