Tensions are high in billionaire social media land. Meta’s Twitter-clone, Threads, launched earlier this week, piggybacking off of the chaos and dysfunction at Twitter, and it didn’t take long for Elon Musk to and his lawyers to hit back.
For the past few weeks, Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and Musk have been trading barbs. Back in June, Musk tweeted “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol”.
According to The New York Times:
The day after Elon Musk challenged Mark Zuckerberg on social media to “a cage match” last month, Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, received a text.
It was from Mr. Zuckerberg, chief executive of Meta. He asked Mr. White, who heads the world’s premier mixed martial arts competition, which is fought in cage-like rings, if Mr. Musk was serious about a fight.
Mr. White called Mr. Musk, who runs Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX, and confirmed that he was willing to throw down. Mr. White then relayed that to Mr. Zuckerberg. In response, Mr. Zuckerberg posted on Instagram: “Send Me Location,” a reference to the catchphrase of Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of the U.F.C.’s most decorated athletes.
Since then, Mr. White said, he has talked to the tech billionaires separately every night to organize the showdown. On Tuesday, he said, he was “on the phone with those two until 12:45 in the morning.” He added, “They both want to do it.”
Still, in the intervening weeks there has been no date set, no blood shed—only talk of duking it out in the courts. After the launch of Threads, which everybody knows is a direct attempt to steal Twitter’s thunder (which has been a bit shaky lately) Twitter’s attorney’s threatened legal action in a cease-and-desist letter that alleges that Meta has “has engaged in the systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”.
Musk also tweeted that “Competition is fine, cheating is not”.
Zuckerberg, taking a page from his rival’s playbook, did not enter the fray with words (or poop emojis) but rather with a classic Spider-Man meme:
It seems unlikely now that Threads has launched and legal action is on the table that we’ll actually see a cage fight take place between the two tech billionaires—more’s the pity—but in the meantime I suggest you hop on Twitter, or Threads if you prefer it, and grab a bucket of popcorn. In the big scheme of things, this is all an amusing diversion from the existential crisis humanity faces. We might as well enjoy the ride.
What do you think of this hullaballoo? Let me know on Threads, Twitter and Facebook.
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