The AOC-Elon Musk Twitter verification spat: A timeline of one-ups
It all started when the new Twitter owner suggested he would start charging for users to be verified by the platform.
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A week ago, Tesla and SpaceX billionaire owner Elon Musk officially completed his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion.
Now, after firing some members of the platform’s executive team as a first step, Musk is picking fights with some of the biggest names on the platform while he also airs some of his new plans to generate revenue.
One of those plans is to begin charging verified users to keep their badges on the platform. The initial charge by Musk was set at $20 on Sunday, Oct. 30, but after receiving major backlash from most people on Twitter, he lowered the price tag to $8, which still has many fuming.
Enter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who Musk was cited by Insider as having feuded with in the past on a number of issues including unionization, misinformation and free speech. They also had an earlier interaction during Musk’s long process to buy Twitter, in which Musk told AOC to “stop hitting on me,” after she subtweeted a “billionaire with an ego problem.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Ocasio-Cortez reignited the clash in a reaction tweet to Musk’s $8 verification charge plan. She took aim at Musk’s past as a free speech defender, and how it’s contradictory to his desire to now charge money for it on Twitter.
Musk replied to the tweet the next day, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, writing the New York Rep’s “feedback is appreciated,” before asking her to pay $8.
The reply set off a string of back-and-forths between the new Twitter owner and Ocasio-Cortez over the next 24 hours that touched on prices of AOC merchandise to an accusation that the congresswoman was “conveniently” having issues with her account for pointing out something Musk didn’t like.
After the initial tweet from AOC and reply from Musk, the billionaire tweeted a screenshot an hour later of a $58 price tag for a sweatshirt from Ocasio-Cortez’s merchandise shop. His caption was a thinking face emoji.
AOC responded with a quote tweet later in the day that explained the price tag was due to her workers being “union, making a living wage, have full healthcare, and aren’t subject to racist treatment in the workplace.” She also said the proceeds for the merch go to programs that help tutor kids and have done so since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You should try it sometime instead of union-busting,” was one of her many retorts in the tweet thread.
She went on to write in a later post that she her Twitter notifications and mentions were “conveniently not working tonight” before saying she was notified “via text,” that she had upset Musk.
The New York Rep followed up on Thursday, Nov. 3 of her notifications still malfunctioning.
While Musk hasn’t responded since his earlier thinking-face tweet, a new report from Bloomberg says he is planning to cut half of the platform’s workforce to cut costs. Employees will also no longer be able to work from home.