False: An outgoing employee suspended Elon Musk's Twitter account after job cuts at the company.

By: Ishita Goel
November 9 2022

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False: An outgoing employee suspended Elon Musk's Twitter account after job cuts at the company.


The Verdict False

Elon Musk's Twitter account has not been suspended and remains active. The account that has been suspended belonged to a Musk impersonator.

Claim ID 403e5d79


After months of wrangling over the deal, Elon Musk completed his $44 billion takeover of the social media giant Twitter on October 28, 2002. Musk was quick to fire Twitter's top officials, including CEO Parag Aggarwal, and then launch a mass layoff drive on November 4. This caused a spike in misinformation on social media around the internal developments at Twitter and its new owner. One post on Facebook claimed, "An outgoing Twitter employee suspended Elon Musk's account on their way out". The post also shared a purported screenshot of Musk's Twitter account with a suspended label. 

 In Fact

Elon Musk's official Twitter account—user name Elon Musk and handle @elonmusk— remains very much active, and day-to-day tweets show that his account wasn't suspended. 

 We also found the same claim being circulated on Twitter. Several users had added the link to the suspended account mentioned in the viral screenshot. On copying and pasting the account name into Google and then eliminating other letters, we found that instead of a lowercase 'L', the suspended account used an uppercase "i" (I) - making the spelling of the name Eion, instead of Elon. Seana Davis, a misinformation specialist with Reuters, pointed out on November 5 that the "suspended account has duped plenty over the past few months." In July, the same impersonator account had been used to perpetrate claims that Twitter had suspended Musk's account when he said he would terminate the deal to buy the platform.

 The claim comes in the backdrop of the mass layoffs at Twitter that were enacted after Musk took over the platform. On November 5, a day after the layoffs took place, the head of Safety and integrity at Twitter, Yoel Roth, stated that "the layoffs would affect about 3,700 people or 50 percent of the staff." In addition, Roth said that the layoffs hit about 15 percent of his team, responsible for preventing the spread of misinformation and other harmful content on Twitter. Speaking about the layoffs, Musk claimed in a tweet the same day that "there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day". Musk informed those laid off were "offered three months of severance, which is 50 percent more than legally required." However, according to sources cited by a Bloomberg report, within days of the firings, Twitter reportedly asked dozens of employees to return. 

 In a wave of changes for the platform, Musk has announced that he would introduce a subscription plan for Twitter that would give paying users the ability to get verified with a blue tick on their profiles. Musk proposed this plan to fight spam, but it has since raised concerns about content credibility. CNN reported that in a widespread display of defiance of Musk's plan, celebrities, including American comedians Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman, changed their verified Twitter profiles into Musk impersonator accounts. Twitter reacted swiftly, suspending Griffin's account and temporarily restricting Silverman's account. Meanwhile, on November 7, 2022, Musk tweeted that impersonator accounts would be permanently disabled from the platform. "Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying "parody" will be permanently suspended," he tweeted.

 The Verdict

There is no evidence to show that Elon Musk's account has been or was ever suspended by an outgoing employee after the layoffs at Twitter. The suspended account was of an impersonator and did not belong to the technocrat. Screenshots of this suspended impersonator account and consequent claims regarding Musk's account being suspended have been viral since July with different narratives. Hence, we have marked this claim false. 

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