Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Twitter, hit rock bottom Monday night as he laughed at employee Haraldur Thorleifsson, who tweeted at him asking if he was affected by the company’s recent layoffs.
During their Twitter conversation, Thorleifsson confirmed that his Twitter days were over.
Thorleifsson, founder of Ueno, a digital agency acquired by Twitter in 2021, found himself embroiled in the chaos produced by Musk just over a week ago, when he suddenly lost access to his work computer.
Elon Musk makes fun of an employee with muscular dystrophy
Thorleifsson asked Twitter’s HR department if he still had a job, but was told they didn’t know. After emailing Musk to no avail,
So Thorleifsson decided to do the next best thing: Twitter to Musk.
“Dear @elonmusk ???? 9 days ago my work computer went down, along with about 200 other Twitter employees,” Thorleifsson said on Monday afternoon. He added, “However, your HR manager is unable to confirm whether or not I’m an employee. He hasn’t replied to my emails. Maybe if enough people retweet they will reply like this“.
Thorleifsson’s tweet received tens of thousands of retweets AND pleases and managed to get Musk’s attention, which always borders on the unpleasant.
Site Platformer reported that the Twitter CEO was “furious” after an engineer broke links and images on Twitter on Monday morning, so it’s safe to assume the chief tweeter wasn’t having a good day.
Musk began by asking Thorleifsson, who lives in Iceland, what kind of work he had. Thorleifsson said he could not discuss it publicly on Twitter without the prior approval of Musk’s lawyers.to which Musk ignored him, giving him permission in a tweet.
The employee went on to list a number of things he was responsible for at the company, including leading the effort to save $500,000 on a SaaS contract, serving as the hiring manager for all design functions, and prioritizing development projects.
Musk asked for more details and replied to Thorleifsson with two “????????” emojis.
Elon Musk’s “jokes” on a disabled employee
In a subsequent tweet, Musk bombarded Thorleifsson with questions and asked for photos of the employee’s work.
“Leveling up from what design to what? Photo or not happened,” Musk said. “We haven’t taken on design roles in 4 months. What changes have you made to help young people?”
Thorleifsson told Musk he couldn’t provide photos or documents because Twitter locked his computer, adding he could provide documentation if Musk gave him back access to the device.
After talking to Musk for about an hour, Thorleifsson tweeted that Twitter HR had responded “miraculously” to confirm he was no longer with the company.
Musk, for his part, apparently dissatisfied with having laughed at a former employee, decided to badmouth Thorleifsson hours after their exchange.
The Twitter CEO questioned Thorleifsson’s disability – who suffers from a type of muscular dystrophy called dystrophinopathy – and said he couldn’t be fired because he wasn’t working.
On his website, Thorleifsson explains that he uses a wheelchair and is slowly losing strength in his upper body and arms.
“The reality is that this guy didn’t have any real work, he claimed as an excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, but at the same time he was tweeting like crazy. Can’t say I have much respect for that,” Musk tweeted. “But was he fired? No, you can’t get fired if you weren’t working!” he added.
The employee’s response to Elon Musk
Thorleifsson responded to Musk’s cruel comments, after pointing out that the CEO was revealing confidential information about his health, explained the effects muscular dystrophy has on his body.
Thorleifsson said she started using a wheelchair when she was 25 and now needs help getting in and out of bed and using the bathroom.
As for Musk’s comments about her hands, Thorleifsson said she told HR she was unable to do manual labor for long periods of time, but could write for an hour or two at a time.
“This wasn’t a problem in Twitter 1.0, as I was a senior manager and my job was mostly to help teams move forward by providing them with strategic and tactical guidance.Thorleifsson said: “By the way, I’m typing this on my phone. It’s easier because I only have to use one finger.”
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.