elon musk haraldur halli thorleifsson

Elon Musk's Twitter Spat With Haraldur "Halli" Thorleifsson

Part of a series on Elon Musk's Twitter Acquisition. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 08, 2023 at 02:40PM EST by Zach.

Added Mar 08, 2023 at 12:36PM EST by Adam.

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Overview

Elon Musk's Twitter Spat With Haraldur "Halli" Thorleifsson refers to a controversy that arose when Twitter employee Haraldur Thorfliesson (known as Halli) claimed he had been locked out of his work account for over a week and publicly asked Elon Musk if he was still employed at the company. Musk initially laughed at the tasks Halli said he did at the company, implied he actually didn't do any work at Twitter, blamed Halli's lack of work on his disability (Halli has muscular dystrophy) and called him "the worst." Musk's comments led to harsh criticism from social media users, with many speculating that Halli could sue Musk for workplace discrimination. Musk later apologized to Halli, saying that he misunderstood Halli's role at Twitter and that Halli would consider staying with the company.

Background

On March 6th, 2023, Haraldur Thorleifsson, aka Halli, tweeted[1] a public plea to Elon Musk asking him to confirm his employment status at Twitter, as he'd purportedly had access to his work computer blocked for over a week and neither Twitter's HR nor Musk had told him whether he'd been let go from the company (shown below).


Halli @iamharaldur 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? 3:38 PM Mar 6, 2023 35.6M Views :

Halli began work at Twitter in 2021 after he sold his company Ueno to Twitter.[2] Halli notably has muscular dystrophy and has campaigned in Iceland for better wheelchair access. He was also named Icelandic "Person of the Year" in 2022 by four Icelandic media outlets.

Developments

In response to Halli's plea on March 6th, 2023, Musk asked Halli what work he had been doing.[3] Halli offered an extensive list of his responsibilities and accomplishments at Twitter, which Musk publicly doubted in the replies (shown below, left). Replying to a user who screenshotted Musk and Halli's conversation, Musk said of Halli,[4] "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" (shown below, right). Musk also said of Halli, "He's the worst" in a now-deleted tweet.[2]


Halli @iamharaldur. 1h Replying to @elonmusk Among others: - 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 186 111 O t 58 Halli @iamharaldur. 1h Replying to @iamharaldur and @elonmusk - led design crits to help level up design across the company - was hiring manager for all design roles - worked on efforts to steer the company away from focusing on power users and on to younger users (because our user base is aging) t 40 il₁205.7K 115 Elon Musk @elonmusk 1,244 @elonmusk 1h Elon Musk Replying to @iamharaldur - Level up from what design to what? Pics or it didn't happen. We haven't hired design roles in 4 months - What changes did you make to help with the youths? 188 738 113.4K 797 ₁384.4K Replying to @elonmusk and @iamharaldur Would you say that you're a people person? ↑ youtube.com What would you say...you do here? What would you say...you do here? : : Elon Musk @elonmusk Replying to @anothercohen 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. Readers added context they thought people might want to know After sending this tweet, Elon spoke directly with the former Twitter employee and subsequently admitted that he was wrong and apologized to the former employee. Elon also invited him back to Twitter. twitter.com/elonmusk/statu... Do you find this helpful? Rate it : Context is written by people who use Twitter, and appears when rated helpful by others. Find out more.

Musk's tweets on March 6th led to harsh criticism and the suggestion that he had opened himself up to a lawsuit in the following hours and days. For example, on March 7th, Twitter user @chetfaliszek[5] called Musk "cruel," a "little man" and an "insecure child" upon reading the pair's ongoing exchange (shown below, left). That same day, user @iridescentaria[6] opined that Musk's comments had opened him up to a disability discrimination lawsuit (shown below, right).


Chet Faliszek @chetfaliszek Read the original thread. Elon could have ignored the tweet but instead, he chose to go out of his way to be cruel to someone who used to work for him. Again and again, the only way he can demonstrate power is through cruelty. That is a little man. An insecure child. Halli @iamharaldur. Mar 7 : Hi again @elonmusk 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: twitter.com/elonmusk/statu... Show this thread COCO all tuckered out @iridescentaria elon opens himself up to a disability discrimination lawsuit on his own website (2023) twitter.com/elonmusk/statu... Elon Musk @elonmusk Mar 7 Replying to @anothercohen 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. Readers added context they thought people might want to know After sending this tweet, Elon spoke directly with the former Twitter employee and subsequently admitted that he was wrong and apologized to the former employee. Elon also invited him back to Twitter. twitter.com/elonmusk/statu... Do you find this helpful? Rate it :

Later on March 7th, 2023, Musk apologized to Halli publicly,[7] saying "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. He is considering remaining at Twitter." He also said the two had chatted on a video call (shown below, left). Some also speculated Musk's change in opinion was due to a conversation Musk had had with lawyers.[8]


Elon Musk @elonmusk 19h Replying to @danielhoughton @anothercohen and @iamharaldur Based on your comment, I just did a videocall with Halli to figure out what's real vs what I was told. It's a long story. Better to talk to people than communicate via tweet. 1,968 1 2,380 8,947 Elon Musk @elonmusk ₁3.2M ↑ He is considering remaining at Twitter. 6:51 PM Mar 7, 2023 6.4M Views ... Replying to @elonmusk @danielhoughton and 2 others 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.

In response to the controversy, TikToker @pearlmania500 posted a video on March 7th suggesting Twitter has no HR department and proposed a humorous grift wherein people could say they worked at Twitter on their resume and get away with it since no one at the company would be able to confirm or deny one's employment history there. The TikTok gained over 770,000 likes in less than one day (shown below).

@pearlmania500 Honestly circuit city going under was a net positive for all my friends income. #circuitcity #grift #recession #elonmusk #twitter #pearlmania500 #itsgettingworse #resume #2009 ♬ original sound – Alex Pearlman

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