Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are among the most recognized business leaders on the planet, but the billionaires aren’t above trolling each other on social media. This weekend the battle renewed.
The latest barb, which came on Saturday, involved Musk’s Twitter deal. After author and podcaster Michael Malice tweeted that “Not a single person wringing their hands about @elonmusk buying Twitter has ever had a problem with Jeff Bezos owning the @washingtonpost,” Musk replied, “Good point.”
Musk’s tweet follows much hand-wringing within and outside Twitter about what will happen if Musk does indeed buy the platform for $44 billion. A prolonged drama about the deal has unfolded this year.
Many Twitter users worry Musk’s vow to loosen content moderation will lead to more misinformation, hate speech, and dangerous content. And inside the company, employees are fretting over a report in the Bezos-owned Washington Post that Musk intends to slash 75% of the workforce.
Bloomberg also reported this week that the U.S. government intends to conduct a security review of Musk’s Twitter takeover, noting the uneasiness over Musk’s threat to stop supplying the Starlink satellite service to Ukraine and what have been perceived as Musk’s Russia-friendly stance. The White House denied such reports.
Musk vs. Bezos
In April, Bezos delivered a jab regarding the Twitter deal, when New York Times reporter Michael Forsythe noted in a tweet that China was Tesla’s second-biggest market, that the carmaker relied heavily on Chinese suppliers, and that Beijing had no leverage over Twitter, which China had long ago banned.
Connecting the dots, Bezos replied: “Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?”
The billionaires have also traded barbs while competing in the space business. Musk heads SpaceX and Bezos Blue Origin. Last year, Musk made fun of the fact that Bezos would only travel the edge of space, not go orbital, when he joined the first crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle in July.
A Twitter user captioned four pictures of the two, with words below Bezos reading “I’m going to space!” in one box and Musk saying, “Orbital, right?” In another. The next box showed a less excited Bezos saying nothing, and Musk repeating, “Orbital, right?
Musk replied with “Haha.”
Musk also needled Bezos last November, when a judge struck down a lawsuit that Blue Origin had filed against NASA, claiming the space agency had improperly awarded a $2.9 billion contract entirely to SpaceX. Musk tweeted, “You have been judged.”
A year ago, Musk also mocked Bezos after overtaking him as the world’s richest man, replying to a Bezos tweet—in which Bezos touted Amazon beating the odds and succeeding despite doubters—with an image of No. 2 medal.
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