Elon Musk has apologized after publicly mocking a fired Twitter employee and making fun of his disability.
He internet drama started after Haraldur Thorleifsson, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, tried to log into his computer last Sunday to do some work, only to find himself logged out. He was among 200 others, most of whom assumed they fell victim to Musk’s latest round of firings despite the miscommunication.
After nine days and not knowing anything about the status of his employment, Thorleifsson tweeted at the Tesla Tycoon hoping to get some concrete answers.
“Maybe if enough people retweet, you’ll reply to me here?” wrote on monday.
Musk responded rather quickly, claiming that Thorleifsson “didn’t do any real work” and used his disability “as an excuse.” He also referenced his “prominent and active Twitter account” and alleged that the former Twitter employee only confronted him in public “to get a big payoff.”
“The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) did not do any real work, he claimed as an excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from writing, but at the same time he was tweeting up a storm,” the billionaire wrote.
“I can’t say I have a lot of respect for that.”
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Thorleifsson, who lives in Iceland, responded with a breakdown of the effects muscular dystrophy has had on his body, including loss of ability to walk and weakening of his arms.
“I can’t do manual labor (which in this case means typing or using a mouse) for long periods of time without my hands starting to cramp,” he said. “However, I can write for an hour or two at a time. This was not a problem in Twitter 1.0 as I was a senior manager and my job was mostly to help teams move forward, give them strategic and tactical advice.”
Thorleifsson said he was formally told he no longer worked at Twitter amid his online dispute with Musk.
However, on Tuesday, the SpaceX founder backed down on his attacks on Thorleifsson, who also goes by Halli.
“I would like to apologize to Halli for my misinterpretation of her situation. She relied on things that I was told were false, or in some cases true, but not significant,” Musk tweeted Tuesday. “He is considering staying on Twitter.”
Thorleifsson, the founder of a creative design agency that he sold to Twitter in 2021, said the BBC joined the company as a full-time employee as part of the acquisition and his title was Senior Director of Product Design.
with cable news services