Elon Musk mocks fired Twitter employee with disability

If you don’t say you’re going to be fired, are you going to be fired?

By means ofBARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — If you don’t say you’re fired, are you fired? On Twitter, maybe.

Haraldur Thorleifsson, who until recently worked at Twitter, logged into his computer on Sunday to do some work – only to find himself locked out, along with 200 others.

Perhaps he figured, like others before him in the tumultuous months of layoffs and firings since Elon Musk took over the company, that he was out of a job.

However, after nine days of no response from Twitter on whether he was still working or not, Thorleifsson decided to tweet Musk to see if he could get the billionaire’s attention and get an answer on the job status. in his Schrödinger.

“Maybe if enough people retweet you’ll reply to me here?” he wrote on Monday.

Eventually, he got his answer after a surreal Twitter exchange with Musk, who kept asking him about his job, questioning his disability and need for accommodations (Thorleifsson has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair) and tweeted that Thorleifsson has a “prominent, active. Twitter account and rich” and the “reason he faced me in public to get a big payment.” As the exchange continued, Thorleifsson said he received an email saying he was no longer employed.

Thorleifsson, who lives in Iceland, has about 141,000 Twitter followers (Musk has over 130 million). He joined Twitter in 2021, when the company, under its first management, acquired his startup Ueno.

He was praised by the Icelandic media for choosing to receive a wage purchase price rather than a lump sum payment. That is because in this way, he will pay higher taxes in Iceland in support of its social services and safety net.

Thorleifsson tweeted at Musk that “The reason I’m asking you publicly is because you (or anyone else on Twitter) didn’t respond to my private messages.”

“You have the right to fire me. But it would be nice if you let me know!” he added.

Thorleifsson’s next step: “I’m opening a restaurant in downtown Reykjavik soon,” he tweeted. “My mom named it.”

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