Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) just got in a Twitter spat with Elon Musk. And now, she’s saying that her Twitter stopped working. This comes less than a week after Musk’s Twitter acquisition took place.
The AOC Argument Started With Elon Musk Wanting to Charge People
Musk took over Twitter on Thursday, October 27, after purchasing the platform for $44 billion. He immediately started implementing changes, including firing Twitter’s top executives and musing about a monthly fee for verified users. Numerous public figures, including Eric Idle (Monty Python), Lynda Carter (original Wonder Woman), and author Stephen King have spoken out about the monthly fee.
AOC, being the Democratic Socialist that she is, of course, backed up her constituents in the public outcry. “Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that “free speech” is actually a $8/mo subscription plan,” the lawmaker tweeted on Tuesday night.
“Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8,” Musk tweeted back on Wednesday afternoon. About an hour later, he posted a photo of a sweatshirt for sale on AOC’s campaign website. He circled the price, $58.
A few hours later, AOC got back on Twitter and called out Musk again. “My workers are union, have full healthcare + benefits like childcare help, and everyone is paid a living wage. Proceeds go to community acts like tutoring underserved kids. You’re a union buster with an ego problem who pockets the change from underpaying and mistreating people.”
Musk is known for pushing people’s buttons and butting heads. And so is AOC. So of course, these two have bickered before in the past. But now that Musk owns Twitter, there’s a looming question of if some questionable practices have taken place.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter Account Started Malfunctioning While She Was Arguing With Elon Musk
Right after AOC called Musk a “union buster with an ego problem,” she also tweeted that her Twitter account had started to malfunction. Of course, she glossed over the complaint with her usual IDGAF luster — which Musk also does from time to time.
Also my twitter mentions/notifications conveniently aren’t working tonight,” she wrote, “so I was informed via text that I seem to have gotten under a certain billionaire’s skin (crying laughing emoji). Just a reminder that money will never [buy] your way out of insecurity, folks.”
14 hours later, around 7:30 in the morning, AOC followed up on the status of her account malfunctioning, tagging Elon Musk.
“Yo @elonmusk while I have your attention, why should people pay $8 just for their app to get bricked when they say something you don’t like?” she tweeted. “This is what my app has looked like ever since my tweet upset you yesterday. What’s good? Doesn’t seem very free speechy to me.”
Many Celebs Are Upset With Twitter Verification Charge
While some may say that $8 isn’t much to pay per month if you’re a public figure, Stephen King described it as more of a matter of principal. For context, he’s worth half a billion dollars. King initially tweeted about the charge, which Musk originally set at $20.
“$20 a month to keep my blue check?” King tweeted. “Fu** that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.”
Musk tweeted back, immediately lowering the number. “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”
When one person called King’s complaint “odd” because he can afford to pay the fee, King responded, “It ain’t the money, it’s the principal of the thing.”
Actress Amber Tamblyn, from General Hospital and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, also took issue with the fee for check marks. In a response to Stephen King, she tweeted, “The irony that Musk purchased this platform to make it more about free speech then immediately monetized it so that it’s literally NOT free for anyone.”
Jaboukie Young-White, a comedian who works on The Daily Show, was also riled up over the fees. “nvm yall can keep that shit,” he tweeted on Sunday.
Actor Kevin Kreider, known for Bling Empire and The Ugly Model, told the LA Times that he wasn’t interested in paying for a checkmark.
“Twitter doesn’t really favor me in any way,” he said. “I post stuff that doesn’t really seem to hit or reach people, so it doesn’t seem to be really my type of platform to begin with, like Instagram Reels, TikTok, LinkedIn. … Twitter’s kind of a dying platform anyway.”
Wonder Woman DGAF About Her Blue Checkmark
On Halloween, OG Wonder Woman Lynda Carter went the meme route and posted two photos of her classic hero character, one incognito, side-by-side.
“Twitter with verification vs. Twitter when I refuse to pay $20 a month for it,” wrote Carter.
And Monty Python comedian Eric Idle doesn’t think much of the fees, either.
“I’m sure Elon will want to start making his money back,” Idle tweeted. “But if he charges me to entertain you, and he let’s [sic] the orange monster back, I think I may decline. I say go back to PythOnline where I first did this in the nineties…”
PythOnline was an old-school internet service provider (ISP) much like David Bowie’s Bowienet. The domain name was since taken, though. It currently is a tattoo archive.
Twitter May Lay Off Thousands of Employees
Idle was also referring to Musk’s promise to let banned Twitter user Donald Trump back onto the platform in his quest to promote free speech. That promise, as well as charging for verified statuses, are just two of the major changes that Musk is considering implementing.
Musk also stirred the pot with mass layoffs throughout the tech company. The New York Times reports that the CEO of an investment company heard from someone at Musk’s family office that more layoffs were coming.
“I was told to expect somewhere around 50 percent of people will be laid off,” he said.
Immediately upon acquiring the social media platform, Musk fired chief executive Parag Agrawal. He also fired executives Ned Segal, Sean Edgett, and Vijaya Gadde. What seriously raises eyebrows, however, is the fact that Musk fired these executives “for cause,” which may affect or completely void the severance packages they were promised through the Twitter merger agreement. They were to be compensated with between $20 and $60 million.
By 2021, Twitter employed more than 7,500 full-time employees. If it’s true that the company will fire or lay off 50% of its workforce, that is thousands of people who are about to lose their jobs.
Lawyers, Lawmakers Decry the Tech Company’s Mass Layoffs
LA-based trial lawyer Lisa Bloom also spoke out to California Twitter employees about their rights.
“Hey Twitter employees getting laid off tomorrow!” Bloom tweeted. “IMPORTANT INFO from a CA employment attorney (me): CA’s “WARN” law requires Twitter to give you 60 days notice of a massive layoff. A layoff of 50+ employees within a 30 day period qualifies. I know you didn’t get that notice.”
It seems the AOC-Musk spat was just the beginning of Twitter’s problems. Because now there’s a class-action lawsuit against the company.
AOC retweeted both of the above PSAs, reiterating that New Yorkers may be able to get back their owed pay.
“If you’re a Twitter (or any) employee subject to mass layoffs, New York has a WARNS law too,” AOC tweeted. “NY WARNS requires 90 days notice for mass layoffs from large employers. Employers who violate may be required to back pay your wages and benefits…”
Welp, we’ll see what happens. It’s difficult to say which would be a better position to be in, between Musk and AOC. Musk has billions of dollars and owns Twitter and SpaceX. AOC, on the other hand, can wield the power of the law. She also probably looks way better than he does in heels and lipstick. Hmmm….
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