Elon Musk Shares Private Text Exchange He Had With ‘Twitter Files’ Journalist Matt Taibbi - Social Media Explorer
Elon Musk Shares Private Text Exchange He Had With ‘Twitter Files’ Journalist Matt Taibbi
Elon Musk Shares Private Text Exchange He Had With ‘Twitter Files’ Journalist Matt Taibbi

Elon Musk shared screenshots of his private text messages with ‘Twitter Files” journalist Matt Taibbi on Monday. And they provide an interesting look into the controversy surrounding Musk’s decision to severely limit Substack links on the social media site.

These undated texts reveal a back and forth exchange between Musk and Taibbi that took place after Musk placed warnings on every link to Substack. Taibbi worked on the so-called “Twitter Files” which documented the business decisions at Twitter before Musk bought the company in October 2022.

“You’re taking down all of my Twitter Files threads because you’re mad at me personally for not leaving the company where I was already employed? Really?” Taibbi asks Musk in the text exchange.

“No, this shouldn’t be happening. Will fix tomorrow,” Musk replied while asking if Taibbi was employed by Substack.

Taibbi replied that the “subscribers there employ me” and further explained it would be an “optics issue” if he left.

“My subscribers there employ me, and I have a great thing going there. The company originally hired me, so I have loyalty. It would also have caused major optics issues for both of us if we had moved to Twitter. But this isn’t related to the threads being removed?” Taibbi wrote.

Taibbi has previously said that he asked about the restrictions on Substack content at Twitter and was told to publish his articles on Musk’s platform instead—a confusing solution, both because the Twitter Files were already published at Substack and because Twitter doesn’t offer the same kind of long-form content possible on Substack.

“So this is going to be fixed?” Taibbi asked Musk in the text messages.

“Yes,” Musk replied.

Taibbi went on to address Musk’s question about whether he was ever an employee at Substack.

“I was never a Substack employee. I was one of the first Substack Pro contributors, which is a guaranteed return system for the first year,” Taibbi wrote to Musk.

That’s the full extent of the text messages shared by Musk, but there are still a lot of questions to be answered about Musk’s decision to limit Substack posts.

The controversy all started because Musk was reportedly upset with Substack announcing plans to launch its own short-form content product called Substack Notes, which hasn’t been publicly released yet. And while Musk has apparently loosened some of the restrictions on Substack, there’s nothing to stop him from reintroducing restrictions any day he sees fit.

Twitter replied to Monday’s questions with an automated reply by Musk, a “poop emoji”.

Update, 7:42 p.m. ET: Musk’s tweet with the screenshots showing his text exchange with Taibbi has been deleted.

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