Musk first asked the employee to prove what work he did at the company with pictures. He then accused him of exaggerating his disability and not working.
The king of controversies, Elon Musk has hit a new low. Ever since he took over Twitter, the billionaire has been engaged in a war of words with almost everyone. However, he may have taken it too far this time with a tweet that has landed him in truly troubled waters. The Twitter CEO mocked and laughed at a now-former employee for his disability. Who does that, you must be thinking? Well, Musk did. And Twitter has all the proof.
Musk has laid off thousands of people since taking over the company in a botched $44 billion deal. But Haraldur Thorleifsson, who was a senior director of design at Twitter, was ruthlessly trashed by Musk. After serving the company for several years, his access to his work computer was suddenly cut off. With no official word from anyone at Twitter about the status of his employment, Thorleifsson sought to confirm whether he is still on board. According to Thorleifsson, he reached out to Twitter's Human Resources department to figure out what went wrong after losing access to work accounts. For nine days, the Twitter team ghosted him. That's when the ex-employee resorted to tweeting Musk directly as that's the only place he's found nowadays. That's when Musk turned evil.
The now-viral tweet reads: "Dear @elonmusk 9 days ago the access to my work computer was cut, along with about 200 other Twitter employees. However, your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not. You've not answered my emails. Maybe if enough people retweet you'll answer me here?"
Dear @elonmusk 👋— Halli (@iamharaldur) March 6, 2023
9 days ago the access to my work computer was cut, along with about 200 other Twitter employees.
However your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not. You've not answered my emails.
Maybe if enough people retweet you'll answer me here?
Thorleifsson is the founder of the Ueno agency. In 2021, he sold his agency to Twitter and bagged a role at the social media giant. He has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair to move around. The condition is beginning to affect his upper body and arms. Musk showed up and responded to his tweet by saying, "What work have you been doing?" As the billionaire asked about his employment status, the former employee mentioned that it would break the confidentiality agreement if he were to speak about his work on the public platform. However, Musk replied that he had permission to do so.
I would need to break confidentiality to answer this question here.— Halli (@iamharaldur) March 7, 2023
If you have your lawyers share in writing that I can do that then I'd be happy to discuss that openly!
Among others:— Halli (@iamharaldur) March 7, 2023
- led the effort to save about $500k on one SaaS contract. Supported closing down many others
- led prioritization of design projects across the company to make sure we were able to deliver with a small team
Thorleifsson, in follow-up tweets, listed his achievements. But Musk dismissed his work titles and even demanded pictures to prove whether he actually worked or not. Musk tweeted, "Pics or it didn't happen." Since his work access had been revoked, Thorleifsson could not show him what he did for Twitter. So Musk replied with a YouTube clip that showed a firing scene from Office Space, per Daily Mail.
Would you say that you’re a people person?https://t.co/kLD9NWHVIT— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2023
Post his Twitter exchange, Thorleifsson reported that HR has "miraculously" confirmed he is amongst the other 200 employees who have been laid off. But if it wasn't enough, Musk behaved even more pathetically by publicly roasting the former employee's inability to type and suggesting that he exaggerated his disability and did no actual work.
His tweet read: "The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) did no actual work, claimed as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet was simultaneously tweeting up a storm. Can’t say I have a lot of respect for that." The internet did not buy this.
My god just a superlative piece of shit pic.twitter.com/6Uxir5LEEW— luke (@lukeoneil47) March 7, 2023
there’s no reason to treat someone like this— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) March 7, 2023
just an absolutely horrible person pic.twitter.com/kFiH5G2VUJ
Every employment lawyer on the planet watching Elon disclose an employee's disability, claim he's faking it, and state it was part of why he was fired. pic.twitter.com/DYO3qW0rKG— Zane Schacht - Voice Goblin 🐀 (@VoicesByZane) March 7, 2023
a future jury is going to have the easiest decision ever pic.twitter.com/oQi4QLD2HP— elon fougère (@punishedhoover) March 7, 2023
Elon deleted this tweet likely per suggestion from his lawyers but there’s this thing about the internet pic.twitter.com/IRVWlKpXRQ— eve6 (@Eve6) March 7, 2023
A Twitter user, @mikemasse, wrote, "So he just ghosts his employees now instead of having the respect of communicating with them. When will he step down from Twitter as he promised?" Another user,@andysignore, clearly declared the billionaire is no good human and commented, "This is WILD. Elon is being such a j**k."
However, it was Thorleifsson who had the last laugh as he ruthlessly roasted Musk with the utmost class. The design head laid out the facts of him selling his company to Twitter thinking it had potential. Thorleifsson added that although he has muscular dystrophy—a disease that causes increasing muscle weakness over time, making simple tasks more and more difficult—he is grateful to have a "wonderful life" and family. He concluded, "My family is the best. I have two kids. I see them every day. I recommend that. My wife is fantastic. Strong, kind, smart, amazing artist. Couldn't be happier with her."
Hi again @elonmusk 👋— Halli (@iamharaldur) March 7, 2023
I hope you are well.
I’m fine too. I’m thankful for your interest in my health.
But since you mentioned it, I wanted to give you more info.
I have muscular dystrophy. It has many effects on my body.
Let me tell you what they are: https://t.co/2vb16kP6Yv
Oh! I forgot to mention that I read you can't go to the toilet on your own either @elonmusk— Halli (@iamharaldur) March 7, 2023
I'm sorry to hear about that. I know the feeling.
The only difference is I can't do it because of a physical disability and you're afraid someone you hurt will attack you while you poop. https://t.co/0XcsMpJW9z
It’s just perfect that Elon wants his tweets at the top of all our pages, and today this former twitter guy absolutely destroying him is at the top instead pic.twitter.com/1SbLPsTM2Y— Read Jackson Rising by @CooperationJXN (@JoshuaPHilll) March 7, 2023
hitting the most divorced man alive with a “i sleep in a big bed with my wife” is killing me lmao https://t.co/i663ApGHVD— maybe: xavier (@couldbexav) March 7, 2023
Musk has reportedly deleted the tweet taunting Thorleifsson and has also issued a public apology for "misunderstanding" Thorleifsson's situation. We are not sure how apologetic Musk feels but he probably realized that he went too far.
I would like to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding of his situation. It was based on things I was told that were untrue or, in some cases, true, but not meaningful.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2023
He is considering remaining at Twitter.