In a May interview with CNBC, Elon Musk — who has previously described himself as a free speech absolutist — said: “I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”
Now, Musk appears to be working to apply that fiscally nonchalant attitude to everyone on his social media platform, those who don’t have a net worth in excess of $200 billion.
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“If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” Musk said Aug. 5. “No limit. Please let us know.”
Social media posts have been creating an environment ripe for reprimands or even termination for years. Career Builder found that, in the hiring process alone, 70% of employers research candidates on social media. And 57% of those employers have found content that caused them not to hire a candidate.
Once hired, 34% of employers have found employees’ content online that has resulted in a reprimand or a termination.
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Last year, Musk played the part of an employer irritated with his employee’s social media posts. After engaging in a Twitter back-and-forth with an engineer at the company, Musk terminated the engineer via tweet: “He’s fired.”
Musk’s original post, which has racked up more than 40,000 replies, is full of people sharing stories that would open them up for funding from X. It is unclear how Musk and X will get to everyone, and how (or if) the company will work to verify these situations. It is also unclear how users will get in touch with the platform to receive this fiscal support.
X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
I’m afraid that Elon may have grossly underestimated the number of victims and the cost of this policy
— Mike Rein (@MokeRein) August 6, 2023
Musk later added that, not only will he and his platform defend people. They’ll do so aggressively.
“And we won’t just sue, it will be extremely loud and we will go after the boards of directors of the companies too,” he said.
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