Twitter is chaos. Both from a technical point of view, with two global falls in less than a week, and in terms of its internal management. The latest wave of layoffs, last week, affected more than 10% of employees still surviving after brutal cuts in recent months. But Elon Musk takes no prisoners in his quest to make Twitter viable at all costs. The latest controversy starring the tycoon has as its victim Halli Thorleifsson, an Icelandic designer who has been trying to access Twitter’s internal system for days without success.
After not receiving any notification from the human resources department and fearing the worst, Thorleifsson has decided to ask the company’s executive director directly through the social network. “9 days ago they restricted my access, along with 200 other Twitter employees. The HR department is not able to confirm if I am an employee. You have not answered my emails. Maybe if many people retweet me, you will answer me?” the tweet.
After a few hours, the tycoon has responded with another question: “What work have you been doing?” The designer then told him that to make this information public “he would have to break confidentiality.” With Musk’s approval, Thorleifsson has made a list of the different tasks that he has carried out within the company.
Neither short nor lazy, the Tesla owner has replied that without images as proof of his work, that would never have happened. “We haven’t hired design positions in 4 months,” he added in her response, joining her shortly after a movie scene in meme form.
The conversation has not taken long to receive all kinds of reactions and responses. Shortly after, Musk deleted some of his tweets and Alex Cohen, a former Twitter employee, shared a screenshot of the entire conversation. It was then that the tycoon wanted to give his version of the facts.
“The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) didn’t do 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. I can’t say I have much respect for him for that. “, replied the CEO. “But he got fired? No, you can’t get fired if you weren’t working in the first place!” he added.
Musk’s unfortunate comments have prompted the Icelander to write a thread detailing his personal situation. Thorleifsson explains that he suffers from muscular dystrophy, a condition that causes degeneration and weakness of skeletal muscle, and that in his case, he left him in a wheelchair at the age of 25.
“20 years have passed since then. In this time the rest of my body has also been failing me. I need help getting in and out of bed and using the bathroom,” he details. Halli explains that for a while he was convinced that his arms would stay strong, “but they ended up losing strength, which, I don’t mind admitting, was hard to accept.”
Shortly after, the photographer Daniel Houghton decided to enter the conversation to deny the tycoon’s comments. “As someone who has worked directly with Halli, it is very disappointing to see this. Not only is her work ethic next level, her talent and humility are world class. Exactly the type of person you want on your team when the odds are limited,” he wrote in a tweet.
Everything seems to indicate that Houghton’s comment has made Musk reflect, who stated that after his speech he had made “a video call with Halli to find out what is real and what they told him.” An hour later he has publicly apologized for her “misinterpretation of her situation”. In addition, the CEO has assured that the Icelander “is considering staying on Twitter.”
Thorleifsson came to the company shortly after it acquired his company in 2020, with a management role that did not require him to spend too many hours on the computer. Apart from his role as an entrepreneur, Halli is a prominent philanthropist in Iceland and in 2022 he was named “Person of the Year” for his project to improve the accessibility of public spaces for people in wheelchairs.
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