Elon Musk didn’t fire a Twitter executive live during a radio show
AFP, published on Wednesday, November 09, 2022 at 5:09 p.m.
A week after taking control of Twitter, Elon Musk set out to lay off nearly half of his employees. A video, relayed on social networks in several countries, claims to show the billionaire dismissing the legal manager of the platform live on American radio. If Vijaya Gadde has been thanked by the new owner of Twitter, this video is actually a satirical montage of several excerpts from interviews, confirmed its author to AFP.At Twitter, the first week under the leadership of Elon Musk looked like a tornado: started with sleepless nights for some engineers, it ended with the dismissal of half the staff, announced on November 4, 2022. A treatment deemed “inhuman” by some employees.
Among the first thanked was Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal affairs, considered the moral authority of the social network.
A video which circulates on social networks in several languages claims to show the dismissal of Ms Gadde live on the radio, during an episode of the American podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience”.
In the first seconds of this video, Vijaya Gadde recognizes “failed on several points”, before apparently being interrupted by Elon Musk, who states: “Failure comes with a heavy penalty. You’re fired.” Several seconds of floating ensue, then appears the image of an empty chair, which one supposes to be that of Vijaya Gadde.
Screenshot taken on 08/11/2022 on TwitterThis video, retweeted several hundred times since the end of October 2022 in French, was also relayed on Facebook, CV and Telegram. She also circulated in Chinese and Polish and has been verified by AFP in English.
Other verification sites, like The observersexplained the origin of this video.
The richest man in the worldElon Musk took control of Twitter on October 28, 2022, after buying the social network from the blue bird for 44 billion euros. He immediately began to dissolve its board of directors by firing Vijaya Gadde, along with chief executive Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal.
Elon Musk – who is also CEO of Tesla and SpaceX – then announced massive layoffs, laying off about half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees. The decision did not surprise the employees because the rumors were insistent. But the brutality of the method shocked. “You discover that you have been logged out. Your laptop is automatically reset”Told Emmanuel Cornet, a French engineer who had been at Twitter for a year and a half.
According to BloombergJust days after the massive layoffs, Twitter called for some ex-employees to rejoin the company, on the grounds that some were either fired in error or will ultimately be useful at the company controlled by Elon Musk.
The former Twitter legal chief who was behind ex-US President Donald Trump’s ban from the platform was not fired live as claimed by the publications we check. This video is a montage, made for humorous purposes, as several Internet users point out.
But others took this video seriously, as numerous comments show.
Screenshot taken on Twitter on November 9, 2022 Screenshot taken on November 9, 2022 on TwitterVideo compilationAt the top left of the video shared by these Internet users, we can read the mention @damonimani. This is the nickname of Damon Imani, a video producer in Denmark who regularly posts humorous video montages. We find on his accounts instagram and Twitter the video of Vijaya Gadde and Elon Musk, posted on October 29, 2022, with the mention “parody” in the Instagram post and under the tweet.
Interviewed by AFP on November 4, 2022, Damon Imani confirmed that he was behind this montage, which he describes as “parody”. “The video is made up of three separate videos. Two are from Joe Rogan’s podcast and the last is from a video in which he talks about business and management,” said Damon Imani.
A reverse video search using the Invid tool – see here how to – allows you to find the interview with Vijaya Gadde, from which are extracted several images used in the video we are checking. They are from a program broadcast on March 5, 2019 on the Youtube channel by Joe Rogan.
At 26’31 minutes, in response to a question about the banning of certain social network accounts, Vijaya Gadde said: “I think we failed on several points,” citing in particular a lack of communication with users regarding the rules of Twitter.
Screenshot taken on 08/11/2022 on Twitter, from the video editing we are checking Screenshot taken on Youtube on 08/11/2022. Excerpt from a program by Joe Rogan, broadcast on March 5, 2019
The excerpts showing Elon Musk were taken fromanother episode from the show “The Joe Regan experience”, broadcast on September 7, 2018 and which can be found by performing a reverse video search again and then using the Yandex tool. In this episode, Elon Musk talks about the future of artificial intelligence.
Screenshot of the video montage, made on Facebook on November 9, 2022 Excerpt from a program by Joe Rogan, screen capture made on November 9, 2022 on Youtube
However, the billionaire’s audio, in which he is heard saying “failure comes with a heavy penalty” and “you are fired”, does not come from this video but fromanother interviewrealized February 28, 2020 and aired on March 2 on Youtube channel “The Space archive”, as explained by Indian news site The Quint in an article published on November 4, 2022.
His exact quote, cut from the video we’re checking out, is as follows: “Innovation is rewarded, making a mistake along the way doesn’t come with a big penalty, but not trying to innovate comes with a big penalty. You’ll be fired”.
In French, this gives: “Innovation is rewarded, making a mistake along the way is not penalized, but not trying to innovate at all comes with a heavy penalty. You will be fired”.
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