Is Elon Musk a ‘meme thief’?

New Delhi: In what could snowball into a major embarrassment for Twitter and Tesla owner Elon Musk, a Twitter user has claimed that Musk ‘stole’ his meme, without giving him any credit. The allegation comes close on heels of widespread criticism of the maverick billionaire for summarily firing half the employees in a bid to change work culture at Twitter.

The meme in question is part of the memefest triggered by reports of mass exodus of Twitter employees after Musk held out the ultimatum: “long hours at high intensity”. As #RIPTwitter trended on the bird app, Elon too posted a tweet with the said meme, indicating how a section was foreboding Twitter’s demise.

Elon Musk’s tweet

The tweet went viral, clocking, till this report was filed, about a lakh retweets and almost 625,000 likes.

‘Sir that is my meme’

A Twitter user with the handle of mauro_txt and name ‘mauro’, replied to Musk, claiming that he was the original maker of the meme. He also took potshots at Musk.

“sir that is my meme. can you confirm that you will implement measures to avoid meme stealing in twitter 2.0?” the Twitter user wrote.

To further his claim, ‘mauro’ close-cropped the meme to show his watermark too.

Twitter in a soup

Twitter has come under a cloud of criticism for the apparently highhanded approach its new owner Elon Musk has assumed towards the employees. After Musk issued a terse ultimatum, calling for staffers to be ready for “long hours at high intensity”, hundreds of employees are reportedly up for “Taking exit option, I’m free!”.

According to Reuters, which quoted a poll on workplace app Blind, which verifies employees via their official email addresses and enables them to share information unfiltered and anonymously, 42 per cent of the 180 people polled, said they wanted out. “Taking exit option, I’m free!” is what they chose in the poll.

Also Read: 42% Twitter employees opt for freedom from Elon Musk; 99% feel layoffs undignified, say workplace polls

Almost 25 per cent said they were staying “reluctantly”, while a meagre 7 per cent participants of the poll chose an affirmative ‘yes’ to staying behind as they were “hardcore”.

Reuters report quoted sources in Twitter as having informed that Musk was trying to convince some employees to stay back.

According to reports, Twitter — after having fired almost half the employees, including the upper management — has decided to close offices and rescind badge access until Monday as the company started booting out employees starting Thursday.

After firing a large number of Twitter employees, Musk wrote: “I would like to apologize for firing these geniuses. Their immense talent will no doubt be of great use elsewhere.”

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