Twitter CEO Elon Musk accused the Washington Post on Friday of publishing a “false” story about recent changes Musk made to the platform.
The Washington Post published an article Thursday with the headline “Elon Musk reinvents Twitter for the benefit of a power user: Himself.” (RELATED: Elon Musk Spent The Super Bowl With Fox News Owner Rupert Murdoch)
Your article is false and obviously so. Do you really do no research at all? I mean, like reading a few tweets, for example. https://t.co/c3ST23XX15
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 17, 2023
“Your article is false and obviously so. Do you really do no research at all? I mean, like reading a few tweets, for example,” Musk tweeted in response to the article.
The article alleges that Musk arranged for his Twitter posts to algorithmically boosted, increasing his average impressions from 137 million in January to 400 million in February. His tweets received 231 million impressions per day in December, with his tweets receiving over a billion views on multiple days that month. The Post story also cites reporting from Platformer, which relied on unnamed “people familiar.”
In a Friday tweet, Musk threatened a lawsuit against Platformer’s anonymous source, who he described as “a disgruntled employee who had been on paid time off for months, had already accepted a job at Google and felt the need to poison the well on the way out.”
Platformer Managing Editor Zoë Schiffer stood by the story, tweeting that Musk’s claim was “completely false.”
Musk also claimed that media reports about Twitter promoting his posts are incorrect, based on Twitter’s own data. “Several major media sources incorrectly reported that my Tweets were boosted above normal levels earlier this week,” Musk tweeted.
“A review of my Tweet likes & views over the past 6 months, especially as a ratio of followers, shows this to be false,” he continued. Musk shared a screenshot of an April 2022 tweet from his account as evidence that his engagement has not been artificially increased.
“I have yet to come anywhere close to this gem,” he wrote. The old tweet received 311 million impressions, even though Musk had 40 million fewer followers at the time. The tweet containing the screenshot had been viewed just 4.8 million times as of Friday afternoon.
The Washington Post declined to comment.