To say that it has been eventful since Elon Musk completed his $44 billion buyout of Twitter last year is an understatement.
The social media company definitely seems very different now compared to this time last year…
Whether it’s because of the numerous worker layoffs by the business owner, or the various changes that Musk has made to Twitter policy.
The iconic blue ticks are one of the elements that the founder of Tesla modified, for which he has drawn harsh criticism.
And now, famed author Stephen King has hit out at Musk once again, this time due to his blue tick verification.
Scroll down for more…
We all know Elon Musk from his adventures in space.
The entrepreneur’s SpaceX program has garnered a lot of publicity.
But who is the man behind the business?
Let’s take a closer look at how he got to where he is today…
The fifty-one-year-old was born in Pretoria, South Africa on June 28, 1971.
Born to a Canadian mother and South African father, the entrepreneur left his birth country for Canada in 1988.
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His mom is quite the icon in her own right!
Seventy-four-year-old Maye Musk is a professional model and dietician, with many an impressive achievements to her name…
She is the oldest star to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated!
Other modeling gigs of hers include a Time magazine cover, a Beyoncé music video, and she can even be seen on boxes of Special K cereal!
However, his relationship with his dad Errol Musk is a lot rockier…
As per The Guardian, in a recent interview, Errol was asked if he was proud of his sun. He replied: “No. You know, we are a family that have been doing a lot of things for a long time, it’s not as if we suddenly started doing something.”
However, this tricky relationship didn’t stop Musk from rocketing his way to success.
He has a long history of success in business.
His first big win was when he sold a video game at just twelve years old.
The game was called Blastar, and he sold it to a computer magazine for an impressive $500.
In terms of education, once Musk moved to Canada he began to attend Queen’s University in Ontario. However, he later transferred to the University of Pennsylvania.
He gained 2 degrees from Pennsylvania – a BA in physics and a BSc in economics.
The entrepreneur then made his start by interning at 2 different Silicon Valley groups in 1994.
He worked for energy storage company Pinnacle Research as well as video game startup Rocket Science Games.
Musk was actually then accepted into a Ph.D. program at Stanford University in 1995.
However, according to Bloomberg, the then twenty-four-year-old dropped out after just 2 days!
He decided to follow the dot-com boom that was beginning to get going in California instead.
This is where Musk’s rise really started to get underway!
He first founded Zip2 alongside his brother, Kimbal, which provided online newspapers with the tools to create city guides.
The company worked with big-name brands such as The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Less than 5 years later, Musk sold the company for over $300 million!
This deal alone made Musk a hefty $22 million.
It was at this point Musk founded the online banking company X.com.
According to Insider, he used about $10 million of his money from the sale of Zip2.
And from here is where Musk’s story becomes a lot more familiar to most of us, as, after roughly a year, X.com merged with another company to make PayPal.
He became CEO of the freshly merged company.
He faced some turbulence in this role, however. He was ousted as CEO after disagreements on what servers the company should use.
Peter Thiel, one of PayPal’s original co-founders, replaced Musk.
In spite of this, Musk still came away from PayPal with an impressive $180 million in 2002.
As Money reported, Musk came away from the company’s $1.5 billion sale to eBay with his fair share.
Then, in 2002, Musk set his sights on the final frontier – space!
This is where one of the most adventurous companies of the twenty-first century, SpaceX, came into being.
With $100 million of the sale from PayPal, Musk founded SpaceX to achieve his goal of space exploration.
The company was ready to take on other big players in the space industry, such as Boeing and Orbital Sciences.
During its twenty years of operation, Musk’s space program has seen many a high but also a lot of lows…
Scroll on to discover just why SpaceX is so special…
Back in 2010, SpaceX achieved its first big feat as the first private company to successfully launch a payload into orbit, and get it back to Earth in one piece.
Previously, only government organizations had managed to achieve this.
They were also the first private company to send humans into orbit in 2020.
The Independent even reported that Musk is aiming to put humans on Mars by 2029!
However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the aerospace business, with its landmark satellite program being blamed for clogging up space.
As per The Guardian, the head of the leading European Space Agency accused Musk of “making the rules” when it came to space.
The so-called Starlink satellites are able to provide internet access to millions across the globe, but their launch is rather controversial.
Aside from the taking up space argument, others dispute whether companies such as Musk’s should be able to alter the look of the night’s sky.
Musk has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct from a former SpaceX employee.
The BBC reported that the billionaire has denied the claims and settled a lawsuit with the former employee for $250,000.
But that’s not where Musk and controversy ends…
From Twitter to Tesla, Musk is never far away from drama…
The year 2004 was when Musk first invested in the electric car company Tesla.
This is the endeavour that Musk would arguably go on to become best-known for.
Although he is not the founder of the company, Musk has been Tesla’s CEO since 2008.
This was after he ousted one of the firm’s founders from the leading position!
Even during the 2008 crisis when Tesla was facing bankruptcy, Musk dove into his own pockets to help save the company.
According to Insider, he invested $40 million and loaned the company another $40 million on top of that!
Despite 2008 being an undeniably tough year for Musk, things started looking up once Tesla found more external investors.
From there, the rise of the electric car company has been huge.
That’s not to say though that Tesla hasn’t faced its fair share of dramas…
Aside from quality control and safety issues, there has been a range of debates around Musk’s leadership itself.
His appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast didn’t help matters.
One of Musk’s most talked about moments is where he can be seen smoking marijuana during the podcast.
The fallout of the podcast episode led to Tesla’s shares falling more than nine percent, according to the BBC.
His eccentric antics appeared to shake investor confidence in the firm.
Musk was even sued by Tesla shareholders when the company acquired a solar panel company owned by 2 of his cousins.
Although the billionaire won the lawsuit, Tesla’s solar power business has also faced further backlash after delays and price increases.
And all of this is before we even get to Twitter!
This is Musk’s most recent controversial move.
In April 2022, the businessman offered to purchase the social media site for $44 billion.
This came in the same month that he became their largest stakeholder in the company.
Then the merger went awry thanks to Musk’s hesitations over the deal.
He claimed that Twitter didn’t meet its contractual obligations.
Twitter sued Musk as a result, claiming that he has violated his acquisition agreement.
However, Musk hit back and planned to countersue, alleging that Twitter committed fraud and breach of contract.
However, it all worked out in the end when Musk changed his mind once again.
So, in October, Musk closed the deal and assumed the position of CEO.
In terms of his private life, the world’s richest man has dated a fair few familiar names…
Read on to discover just who Musk has dated.
The billionaire’s first wife Justine referred to herself as his “starter wife” in an interview with Marie Claire.
The Canadian author had 5 children with Musk, and they divorced in 2008.
Just 6 weeks after he divorced his first wife, Musk then got engaged to British actress Talulah Riley.
The pair went on to marry in 2010, but divorced in 2012. However, they then remarried the next year, and eventually divorced again in 2016.
Then, Musk dated another actress — this time it was Amber Heard.
The pair dated for several months in 2017.
One of Musk’s most significant relationships has been with musician Grimes.
The couple reportedly first started seeing each other in April 2018, and made their red carpet debut a month later at the Met Gala.
In March 2022, Grimes told Vanity Fair that her and Musk’s relationship is “very fluid.”
She said: “I would probably refer to him as my boyfriend, but we’re very fluid. We live in separate houses. We’re best friends. We see each other all the time… We just have our own thing going on, and I don’t expect other people to understand it.”
Musk found himself in the headlines again over comments about having more children…
This comes after he allegedly fathered twins with one of his employees.
Musk has come under fire for apparently fathering ‘secret’ children with one of his employees.
According to a report that has been made public, Musk had twins last year with Shivon Zilis, who was working at his OpenAI company at the time.
The documents, obtained by Insider, show that Musk and Zilis filed to change their children’s last names to their middle names back in April.
The story states that the “court documents obtained by Insider show that the tech mogul Elon Musk quietly had twins last November with one of his top executives, Shivon Zilis. In April, Musk, fifty-one, and Zilis, thirty-six, filed a petition to change the twins’ names in order to ‘have their father’s last name and contain their mother’s last name as part of their middle name.’”
According to the report, the “twins were born weeks before Musk and Claire Boucher, the musician who performs as Grimes, had their second child via surrogate in December.”
Which makes the situation even messier for Musk.
Zilis is currently the director of operations for Neuralink, after joining back in 2017.
Details on their relationship are still unclear, but Musk has responded to the news on social media.
Taking to Twitter, she addressed the apparent “underpopulation crisis.”
He wrote: “Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.”
He followed this up, writing: “Mark my words, they are sadly true.”
Obviously, his comments caused quite a stir, with thousands taking to the comments section to share their thoughts.
One Twitter user wrote: “Elon, what do you think is the major driving factor for this population collapse trend? Do you think that recessions play a role in this inverted population graph? Or is it just the mentality of literate people thinking that why bring babies in this already “overpopulated” world?”
And Musk was quick to respond to this, writing: “Far too many people are under the illusion that Earth is overpopulated, even though birth rate trends are so obviously headed to population collapse.”
This comes after his comments back in May addressing the fact “USA birth rate has been below min sustainable levels for around fifty years” he said.
He added: “Past 2 years have been a demographic disaster,” but said: “I mean, I’m doing my part haha.”
The dad of ten opened up in a recent interview about whether more children are “looming.”
Talking to the Financial Times, he said he’s “pretty sure there are no other babies looming.”
But also admitted he wouldn’t oppose the idea of more babies…
Describing himself as an “autumn chicken.”
It has been reported that Musk just can’t quite believe that the mother of 2 of his kids, Grimes, is even real!
Vanity Fair journalist Devin Gordon revealed the theory during a new BBC documentary, after having interviewed the Canadian musician earlier this year.
“She told me repeatedly that Musk has this theory of her that she’s not real, that she’s a simulation who was created by him,” Gordon said, as per UNILAD.
The journalist explained that she “exists in his cerebral cortex as sort of the perfect companion to him.”
Gordon accepted that the idea “sounds a little crazy and maybe even a little creepy.
“Except, she agrees with it. She said she does feel like this simulation which was perfectly created for him.”
Well, a little crazy is one way of putting it!
And now, Musk has been spotted at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, but, rather bizarrely, a kitchen appliance was getting the most attention during his visit.
“Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!” Musk tweeted a video of him walking into the lobby of the building holding a kitchen sink.
While Twitter employees may not have laughed at him, Musk reportedly told bankers financing his deal with Twitter that he intends on cutting staffing levels at the company by around 75 percent.
“A beautiful thing about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism – people are able to disseminate news without an establishment bias,” Musk also tweeted.
You can see the video here.
This week, at last, Musk finally bought out Twitter, and he confirmed it by tweeting to advisers.
“Dear Twitter Advertisers, I wanted to reach out personally to share my motivation in acquiring Twitter,” he explained.
“There has been much speculation about why I bought Twitter and what I think about advertising. Most of it is wrong.”
Musk explained he bought out the company “because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”
He further expanded on his reason for why he bought out the company.
“I didn’t do it to help make more money. I did it to try and help humanity, whom I love.
“And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.
But it seems as though Musk is not quite on top of his new position.
“Just received this email from Twitter. This is an actual, real email that was autogenerated.” he shared, along with a laughing emoji.
“So demanding to allow a mere 30 days to learn this priceless information! But Management 201 is such a tantalizing carrot.”
“My title is Chief Twit right there in the bio. No idea who the CEO is.”
Musk even changed his bio to read “chief Twit.”
But now it’s been revealed by a tech website Platformer’s Casey Newton that Twitter is leaning towards a big step toward revamping the platform.
As per reports, this allegedly includes asking verified users to pay for the privilege.
Reportedly, there were currently 400,000 verified users on Twitter.
Making them pay could actually benefit the company as 5 percent of all users and heavy tweeters make up less than ten percent of the site’s monthly users.
New reports in The Verge suggest that Musk planned to launch a pay-for-play verification system.
This means verified users will be charged $20 per month.
While the employees were only told of the project on October 30, they reportedly had until November 7 to launch the scheme or they face being fired.
Although, reports further revealed that the price of the verification is subject to change and therefore will also cover so-far unspecified other features.
And some celebrities have been unhappy with Musk’s takeover…
Which has led to many leaving the platform…
Including screenwriter Shonda Rhimes.
Rhimes, who joined Twitter in November 2008 and has 1.9 million followers, posted a tweet that suggested she would no longer use the social media platform in light of Musk’s acquisition.
“Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye,” she wrote.
Rhimes did not offer further clarification but remains active on other social media sites, including Instagram and TikTok.
This Is Us executive producer, Ken Olin is also gone.
He left an emotional tweet to say goodbye.
“Hey all – I’m out of here. No judgement. Let’s keep the faith. Let’s protect our democracy.
“Let’s try to be kinder. Let’s try to save the planet. Let’s try to be more generous. Let’s look to find peace in the world,” he wrote.
Actor Josh Gad, who voices Olaf in Frozen, also shared his views.
It seems he’s feeling conflicted over whether to leave or not.
“Let’s try to be kinder. Let’s try to save the planet. Let’s try to be more generous. Let’s look to find peace in the world.
“Leaning toward staying, but if today is a sign of things to come, not sure what the point is. Freedom of speech is great. Hate speech intended to incite harm, (with no consequences) ain’t what I signed up for,” Gad wrote.
Actor Rob Reiner is feeling similarly conflicted.
You may recognize Reiner from The is Spinal Tap.
“For those who are fighting to preserve our Constitutional Democracy, now is not the time to leave Twitter.
“Now is the time to VOTE BLUE!” Reiner said.
Amber Heard is another celeb to leave the platform.
She reportedly deactivated her account around the time the CEO took over the site.
As we know from the infamous defamation trial, Heard and Musk got together after Heard split from Johnny Depp.
But their fling was fleeting.
It’s not known whether her departure has something to do with Musk…
But the timing is pretty interesting.
Her time on the social media platform came to an end.
On Saturday, she announced her departure from Twitter due to its new leadership.
“It’s becoming more and more of a cesspool of hate & bigotry, and its not a place I want to be a part of,” Hadid said on her Instagram story.
The twenty-seven-year-old explained Twitter in a nutshell, saying it is no longer “a safe place for anyone, nor a platform that will do more good than harm.”
And the list doesn’t end there…
Captain Sully, Sully Sullenberger, the former pilot behind the 2009 miracle landing on the Hudson River in New York, has become the latest celeb to depart from Twitter.
On Wednesday he announced on his social media page he would take a step back from the social media site.
However, the main reason behind his leave is still unclear.
“To my friends on Twitter,” he wrote.
“I will be taking a step back from the platform for now. Connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram to stay informed and hear my latest personal and professional updates.”
Since then, Musk has revealed he’s extra busy now that he owns Twitter.
He also responded to an assumption that many business leaders in Asia wanted to be the “Elon Musk of the East” at an event in Bali.
Although it was unclear whether the billionaire was in Bali, he spoke at the event and said that business leaders should be careful about what they wish for…
“I’d be careful what you wish for. I’m not sure how many people would actually like to be me,” Musk said.
“They would like to be what they imagine being me, which is not the same thing as actually being me. The amount that I torture myself is next level, frankly,” he added.
Musk also opened up about how busy he has been since the takeover…
He said he was “at the absolute most amount… from morning til night, seven days a week.”
“I have too much work on my plate that is for sure,” Musk added.
And it seems he wants to hire someone else to do the job for him.
Musk shared his thoughts while testifying against his shareholders about his Tesla pay package.
“There’s an initial burst of activity needed post-acquisition to reorganize the company.
“I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time,” he said.
Musk then later tweeted: “I will continue to run Twitter until it is in a strong place.”
But added that it will “take some time.”
However, it seems like the company will need a new CEO as soon as possible after Musk demanded workers to sign a pledge to work long and intense hours.
The Guardian reports that more than a hundred Twitter employees took the decision to leave the company.
These Twitter employees involved engineers who are the core of the company.
Twitter engineers are responsible for fixing any bugs and preventing service outages.
Since the number of staff who declined to sign was less than what Musk had anticipated…
He’s closed the Twitter office and is now allowing employees to work remotely.
With the decline of Twitter employees, users have speculated the social media platform will go down at any time.
It came after the employee’s version of the Twitter app began slowing down, according to one source familiar with the matter.
“If it does break, there is no one left to fix things in many areas,” the source reported.
DownDetector has also reported a significant increase in user reports of issues on the site.
It appears Musk is desperately reaching out to Twitter employees for help!
He’s asked for a “bullet point summary” of their code for the past weeks to help him understand.
And then, the people of Twitter christened Musk “space Karen.”
Alongside “bankruptcy baby,” “petulant pimple” and “mediocre manchild.”
And following all of Musk’s controversies as his time as Twitter CEO, it looks like users of the platform have finally had enough.
In the poll tweeted by Musk the question was asked: “Should I step down as head of Twitter?” his future at Twitter was placed into the hands of the public.
And now the results of the poll are in…
And have left people in shock.
With 17,502,391 votes in total, the end result was a lot close than you might think.
57.5% were in favour. 42.5% were against.
This means that over more than 10 million people voted in favour of Musk stepping down from his role of Chief Twit.
And then, he responded.
It took him hours to finally break his silence.
He responded with “Interesting” to multiple suggestions that the results of the poll were skewed by fake accounts.
One Twitter user suggested that: “Blue subscribers should be the only ones that can vote in policy related polls.”
To which, Musk said: “Good point. Twitter will make that change.”
People were unsure if Musk was planning to re-do the vote with Twitter Blue verified profiles only, to avoid fake accounts voting for his resignation.
But he did say that he would ”abide by the results of this poll.”
You can see the Twitter poll here.
Since the poll resulted in users voting for Musk to step down from his role as Twitter CEO, his future there now remains uncertain.
However, Elon Musk is actively looking for someone to replace him as CEO of Twitter, CNBC reported.
And then Musk himself has addressed the search directly.
He tweeted: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams.”
There was then some good news for Musk.
As he recently reclaimed his title as the world’s richest man!
He was usurped from the title by Bernard Arnault, CEO of French luxury brand LVMH, last December.
But Bloomberg then reported that a boost in Tesla stock has reinstated Musk’s placement.
However, Musk has claimed Twitter is worth only half of what he bought it for.
In an email obtained by TMZ, Musk tells employees the company is now valued at $20 billion.
This is less than half of the $44 billion he paid for it.
Musk has also made another bizarre move regarding Twitter.
He’s offered a million Dogecoin (around $84,000) to anyone who can provide proof he comes from an emerald mining fortune.
Musk has always disputed the fact that he’s a nepo baby, once Tweeting: “The fake emerald mine thing is so annoying (sigh). Like where exactly is this thing anyway!?”
Twitter account DogeDesigner wrote: “Elon Musk never owned an emerald mine. An open offer of 69.420 Doge to all the media outlets who are publishing false information. Send me proof of its existence & take your doge.”
And in response, Musk wrote: “I will pay a million Dogecoin for proof of this mine’s existence!”
But that’s not the only thing people are talking about…
Prior to Musk, people and businesses with a large following on the social media platform were given verified blue badges, but this has since changed slightly.
As we know, the blue mark on accounts for single users and the yellow mark on company pages are no longer gained through a verification procedure.
Instead, users must now pay $8 per month to have the option of getting a badge for their Twitter account.
However, that only applies to lone individuals; businesses must pay a staggering $1,000 for the tick.
Musk removed the verification badges from about a million Twitter users on Friday, April 21 in what appeared to be one massive sweep.
However some people have since had it reinstalled or even not removed at all.
One of them is the renowned author Stephen King, who clarified in a tweet on April 20 that despite having the blue tick on his account, he had not signed up for Twitter’s new subscription service.
“My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t,” he wrote.
Musk replied: “You’re welcome namaste.”
After a brief lull in the conversation, King finally responded to Musk once more.
He said: “I think Mr. Musk should give my blue check to charity. I recommend the Prytula Foundation, which provides lifesaving services in Ukraine. It’s only $8, so perhaps Mr. Musk could add a bit more.”
Musk replied: “I’ve donated $100M to Ukraine, how much have you donated?(We turned down the DoD money btw).”
What do you make of it all?