Fictional Twitter Employee’s Resignation Goes Viral

A satirical tweet about Elon Musk, Twitter, and free speech was amplified on social media.

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Claim

After Elon Musk became Twitter's biggest shareholder, a company employee named Jackson Mulholland resigned and posted a message about free speech.

Rating

Labeled Satire
Labeled Satire
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Origin

On April 4, 2022, the satirical Twitter account J. Mulholland (@MulhollandL0ver) posted a message stating that they were resigning after hearing that Elon Musk had become the social media network’s biggest shareholder. 

J. Mulholland wrote: “My name is Jackson Mulholland & I’m one of many ppl here working at @Twitter in charge of developing terms & conditions for users. We’re not stripping away “free speech”, we’re protecting users from bullies, bigots, & spam. I refuse to work with or for @elonmusk. I’m resigning.” 

But this message was not posted by a Twitter employee. This account clearly states in its bio that its content is largely satirical. 

While Mulholland’s immediate audience likely recognized his brand of satire (the original tweet was only shared about two thousand times), this fictitious statement was picked up by much larger accounts and quickly spread on social media. A message posted by conservative commentator Dave Rubin, for example, was shared an additional 10,000 times and racked up more than 100,000 likes. A quote tweet from the Twitter account “Zero HP Lovecraft” racked up another 20,000 retweets and 150,000 likes. Rubin has since acknowledged that he shared a satirical tweet as if it were genuine, but Zero HP Lovecraft has not. 

Musk joined Twitter’s board in April 2022 after becoming the company’s largest shareholder in April 2022. While some people have truly expressed reservations at this news, the above-displayed message originated with a satire account. 

Sources:

Carbonaro, Giulia. “How Twitter Employees Reacted to Elon Musk Buying Huge Stake in Company.” Newsweek, 5 Apr. 2022, https://www.newsweek.com/how-twitter-employees-reacted-elon-musk-buying-huge-stake-company-1695102.

Duffy, Clare. “Elon Musk to Join Twitter’s Board.” CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/05/tech/elon-musk-twitter-board/index.html. Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

“Why the SEC Is Warning Elon Musk about His Tweets.” New York Post, 22 Mar. 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/03/22/why-the-sec-is-warning-elon-musk-about-his-tweets/.