Not yet in the head of Twitter – even though its $ 44 billion offer has been accepted by shareholders – that Elon Musk is already sowing havoc. He posted a photomontage last week with the face of Vijaya Gadde, the lawyer of the American-Indian social network that oversees the moderation policy, to mock his work. Its 90 million subscribers – their number are rising daily – saw the image unleash a violent wave of cyberbullying against the young woman. He calls himself “Curry”, “foreign scum” … among other racist insults interspersed with “White power”, in dozens of messages calling for his resignation. The pressure was such that it fell during a meeting that brought all the employees together on Friday, which was exactly related to the change of owner. Since then, many harassing messages have been enriched by the “Pleurnicheuse” quip. It gives a good idea of what freedom of expression is according to Elon Musk.
Behind communication, mistrust
This is not his first attempt because, a few months ago, the billionaire posted a photomontage mixing the face of Parag Agrawal, who was just promoted as general manager of Twitter, and by Stalin, to criticize the strengthening of moderation against false. social network information. Agraval, who feels right in the hot seat, has been included in the deal to sell a comfortable golden parachute for $ 42 million for his little man, in case he loses his position as chief executive within the next twelve months. But its employees have no safety net. Musk actually promised the banks that lent him these billions to drastically reduce the salaries of directors and executives in the beginning, then consider a wave of job cuts when he takes over as chief. of Twitter. Arrested on the issue on Friday by his employees who were worried about their position, Parag Agrawal contacted. “His speech didn’t convince anyone, an employee of the Reuters agency testified about his explanations. He told us not to stop, to continue doing a job we would be proud of, but we had no guarantees. » Behind the communication, mistrust reigns, employees no longer have the right to touch Twitter’s code without the consent of a vice president, for fear of sabotage.
sexism and jokes
Social network employees have more reason to worry that Elon Musk’s social balance sheet with his other companies is highly encouraging. Within six months, complaints of harassment and sexual assault increased there. One of the victims, Ashley Kosak, testified in a blog post that became “hold the ass” on the coffee machine from his early days at SpaceX, before rubbing his chest. She explained that she had received many sexual messages from other colleagues, one of whom even tried to break into her home. He said he was warning, in vain, human resources. According to him, the responsibility comes from above: Musk doesn’t hesitate to laugh at the physique of women who launch alerts and perpetuate the ambient sexism of his schoolboy jokes. For example, she decided to sell the Tesla store a satin mini-short with “sexy” written on the butt ($ 69), or suggested removing the “w” from Twitter to now send “titts” ( nipples in English) and no more twitts … In general, Ashley Kosak accuses her former boss “use its engineers as a resource to be exploited rather than as a group of people”. The record is no better when it comes to racism. After being ordered to pay $ 137 million in damages to a former black employee for his blindness to the racism he suffered, Tesla was sued by the state of California for “systematic racial discrimination and harassment.”
Elon Musk puts these controversies aside with the back of his hand. “To anyone I might have hurt, I just want to say, ‘I’ve reinvented the electric car and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket. Do you think I’m a calm and normal person?’ » he launched on TV. The richest man in the world, who regularly claims to save humanity, in any case did not start by solving the problem of hunger. But he promised that if anyone could think of a plan to fix the problem, at $ 6 billion, he would extend the money. The World Food Program hired him and sent him a blueprint to end world hunger, within budget. The organization is still waiting for his check.