Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk has at all times had an uncommon relationship with the media—and now he’s taken it one step additional.
Reporters contacting Twitter for authorized causes at the moment are receiving a single emoji again of their inbox. A 💩.
Fortune, like many different international information shops, has contacted the embattled firm droves of instances since Musk took over in October of final 12 months. Journalists have sought remark or background data on matters of big significance not solely to the general public however to Musk’s employees themselves.
Points have included mass layoffs, lawsuits, privateness for customers, and, lately, a spat between Musk and a former member of employees who questioned whether or not he nonetheless labored on the firm as he hadn’t heard from Twitter’s HR crew.
The SpaceX cofounder has reportedly sacked at the least half of Twitter’s staffers since he took over. This has apparently included the communications crew, alongside groups that cowl human rights, machine studying ethics, and accessibility.
Musk, who this 12 months broke the Guinness World File for the most important lack of private wealth in historical past, pledged in the past to help correct reporting by way of a content-verification platform Pravda. The service, he mentioned, would permit readers to “price the core reality of any article and monitor the credibility rating over time of every journalist, editor and publication.”
It’s unclear how impartial the service can be of Musk’s affect. Responding to the previous PayPal boss’s 2018 tweet concerning the launch of Pravda, one consumer wrote: “He’s not kidding of us. I observed that one in all Musk’s brokers had integrated Pravda Corp in California again in October final 12 months . I used to be questioning what it was all about.”
A substantial amount of information pertaining to the future of Twitter is now being launched on the platform itself by the CEO. Final 12 months Musk promised to abide by the outcomes of a ballot posted on the positioning, giving customers the choice of Musk stepping down or staying on.
After customers overwhelmingly voted for Musk to go, he tweeted: “I’ll resign as CEO as quickly as I discover somebody silly sufficient to take the job! After that, I’ll simply run the software program and servers groups.”
It’s unclear how lengthy Twitter’s new press coverage can be in place. When contacted by Fortune to query if Twitter could change its emoji-response coverage for the advantage of its customers and employees sooner or later, it obtained a 💩 again.
What about Tesla and SpaceX?
Musk’s different headline firms have but to verify whether or not they’ll be implementing an identical response system.
Tesla’s press crew—the folks liable for responding to journalists’ questions and managing the general public’s notion of the corporate—was apparently dissolved in 2020. The transfer was first reported by electrical transportation information outlet Electrek, saying a supply “on the highest stage at Tesla” had confirmed the corporate had no PR crew.
When contacted by Fortune for remark, Tesla didn’t reply.
Inquiries have additionally beforehand been directed to SpaceX about its International Roaming Starlink service however obtained no response. When contacted by Fortune to see if it too could be rolling out an emoji response, SpaceX didn’t reply.