Fact Check: Employee Resignation Tweet Over Elon Musk Twitter Stock Purchase Is NOT Real -- Satire Account

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Employee Resignation Tweet Over Elon Musk Twitter Stock Purchase Is NOT Real -- Satire Account Satire Tweet

Did a Twitter employee post a public resignation because he refused to work for Elon Musk? No, that's not true: This tweet was made by @MulhollandL0ver, an account that posts mainly satire. This is not the account of a real Twitter employee.

The tweet from @MulhollandL0ver was posted as a reply to a tweet from @disclosetv on April 4, 2022. This tweet reply went viral via retweets and quote tweets and was also reposted as a screenshot on Twitter. Here's an example of the screenshot on Facebook that was published on April 5, 2022, with the caption, "Elon promises fairness, and the snowflakes at Twitter are quitting. That'll show him!!!" The text in the screenshot reads:

Elon Musk is already making twitter a better place

Disclose.tv @disclosetv . 5h
NEW - Elon Musk buys $3 billion stake (9.2%) in Twitter and is now the platform's largest shareholder.

J. Mulholland
@MulhollandLover

Replying to @disclosetv

My name is Jackson Mulholland & I'm one of many ppl here working at @Twitter in charge of developing terms & conditions for users. We're not stripping away 'free speech', we're protecting users from bullies, bigots, & spam. I refuse to work with or for @elonmusk. I'm resigning.

8:46 AM . Apr 4, 2022 . Twitter for Android
12 Retweets 92 Quote Tweets 196 Likes

This is what the post on Facebook looked like at the time of writing:
resignationpost.jpg
(Image source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Apr 07 15:50:43 2022 UTC)

On April 4, 2022, it was reported that Elon Musk, the world's richest person, had purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter. In late March, he posted criticism of Twitter for "failing to adhere to free speech principles."

The image above, including the caption, "Elon Musk is already making twitter a better place," is from the tweet of Zero HP Lovecraft @0x49fa98. This account posted a screenshot of the original @MulhollandL0ver reply rather than simply retweeting it. Using a screenshot in this manner separates the tweet from the context of the clearly marked satire account of J. Mulholland. This screenshot copy has been retweeted over 23,000 times from the @0x49fa98 account, while the original reply was retweeted less than 3,000 times.

Mulholland's regular followers would have recognized a device that he sometimes uses in constructing tweets about current events: Posing as an employee or professional close to the event, he shares a fictional insider's perspective. Additional examples of this can be seen in a tweet by Verification Handbook author @CraigSilverman who reminded @RubinReport, "Always read the bio!" Mulholland's bio reads:

J. Mulholland
@MulhollandLOver
Mostly satire. Storytelling screenwriter. I make light of serious situations. Dark humor. Addicted to Twitter Spaces. #SpacesHost
Joined February 2021
2,797 Following 30.3K Followers

profile.jpg

(Image source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thu Apr 07 16:26:27 2022 UTC)

Many of the people quote tweeting Mulholland's original reply did not seem to be aware that the tweet was satire. Several high-profile accounts including Dinesh D'Souza, Rand Paul and Sebastian Gorka quote tweeted the original or posted a screenshot.

composite.jpg

(Image source: Lead Stories composite image of screenshots of verified accounts amplifying the satirical tweet taken on Thu Apr 07 16:58:59 2022 UTC)

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


 

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