Elon Musk Sets the Record Straight, Corrects ‘False’ New York Times Story

Elon Musk knocked down a house of cards constructed by The New York Times with a three-word tweet.

The outlet published an article Saturday saying Musk was moving quickly to slash the workforce of the social media company, which the billionaire purchased last week.

One section of the Times’ report highlighted by ProPublica editor Eric Mamansky on Twitter said the cuts were keyed to take effect before Tuesday, which in the era when Twitter was a public company was the day employees were granted amounts of stock in the company.

“This is false,” Twitter’s new owner replied to Mamansky’s tweet.

The Times report was attributed to “four people with knowledge of the matter.”

That jobs will be cut at Twitter is no surprise. Musk has tossed around numbers before he bought the company, and among his first acts was to fire four of Twitter’s top executives.

Further, The Washington Post last week reported that due to its failure to meet revenue projections, if the Musk deal had not gone through, Twitter had been planning major cuts to staff to cut labor costs by $700 million, including third-party contractors who serve as content moderators.

The Times report focused on the timing and drew some sinister conclusions.

“The layoffs at Twitter would take place before a Nov. 1 date when employees were scheduled to receive stock grants as part of their compensation,” it said. “Such grants typically represent a significant portion of employees’ pay. By laying off workers before that date, Mr. Musk may avoid paying the grants, though he is supposed to pay the employees cash in place of their stock under the terms of the merger agreement.”

The Times report tried to guess at the scope of layoffs.

“I was told to expect somewhere around 50 percent of people will be laid off,” Ross Gerber, the chief executive of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, said, indicating that Jared Birchall, the head of Musk’s family office, told him about the scope of job cuts.

Musk got in a dig at the Times on Sunday when it reported on his tweet about the recent attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Elon Musk, in a Tweet, Shares Link From Site Known to Publish False News,” the Times’ headline read.

“This is fake – I did *not* tweet out a link to The New York Times!” Musk said.

Twitter’s new owner spent some time on the platform playing whack-a-mole with various rumors.

NBA star LeBron James used his Twitter account to promote one of them – that there was a spike in the use of racial slurs since Musk took over.

“I dont know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns twitter. But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary AF. So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech,” James tweeted.

Musk posted a reply from Yoel Roth, the head of safety and integrity at Twitter.

“Over the last 48 hours, we’ve seen a small number of accounts post a ton of Tweets that include slurs and other derogatory terms. To give you a sense of scale: More than 50,000 Tweets repeatedly using a particular slur came from just 300 accounts,” he wrote.

“Nearly all of these accounts are inauthentic,” Roth said. “We’ve taken action to ban the users involved in this trolling campaign — and are going to continue working to address this in the days to come to make Twitter safe and welcoming for everyone.”

Fox Business reported that the episode was a test.

“Evidence suggests that bad actors are trying to test the limits on @Twitter. Several posts on 4chan encourage users to amplify derogatory slurs,” the Network Contagion Research Institute said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.