Will they or won’t they? The dance of two tech titans

Will they or won't they? The dance of two tech titans

A Digital Duel: Musk vs. Zuckerberg


In a surprising turn of events, celebrities and tech giants Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have found themselves embroiled in a heated digital duel. What began as a dispute over Meta CEO Zuckerberg’s Twitter doppelgänger named Threads has escalated into a battle of wits and words. As an avid follower of both Meta and Twitter, I find myself frequently asked whether this fight will actually happen. While I highly doubt the actual brawl will take place, the audacity and entertainment value of their attempt would be a sight to behold.

The feud traces its roots back over two months to an internal meeting leak where Meta’s chief product officer called Threads a “sanely run” alternative to Twitter. Musk, never one to back down from a challenge, declared the battle was on, pledging the proceeds to veterans. He even shared screenshots of text conversations between himself and Zuckerberg, showcasing the Meta CEO’s exasperation with Musk’s relentless public theatrics.

In true Musk fashion, he responded to Zuckerberg’s suggestion of a real MMA (mixed martial arts) fight by claiming he hasn’t done much training except with popular tech podcaster Lex Fridman. However, Musk believed he could easily dominate Zuckerberg in his own backyard octagon in Palo Alto. To take things a step further, Musk jokingly claimed he would test Tesla’s full self-driving feature by inputting Zuckerberg’s address and showing up at his house, declaring a duel whether he liked it or not. And, of course, he would livestream the entire event on X, adding to the theatrics. In a twist of fate, neither Musk nor Zuckerberg were even in town that day, as reported by the Platformer newsletter, rendering the entire charade utterly pointless.

As the sun rose on Tuesday, the anticipated spectacle remained nothing more than a mirage. However, this ongoing feud has given a remarkable facelift to Zuckerberg’s public persona. It wasn’t long ago that Zuckerberg was cast as Silicon Valley’s villain, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exposed Facebook’s improper handling of user data. Despite pouring billions of dollars into his version of the “metaverse,” Zuckerberg faced criticism for underwhelming avatars and a declining market cap.

Now, Zuckerberg is standing up against one of the valley’s most questionable entrepreneurs, Musk, known for giving a stage to perilous conspiracy theories and engaging with a far-right account known for sharing content propagating anti-Black racism and pseudoscientific notions related to race. Many online spectators eagerly anticipate a scenario where Musk gets his comeuppance, and Zuckerberg’s balanced enthusiasm to follow through appears to have earned him newfound support.

Though I find it incredibly unlikely that this fight will actually happen, should the stars align and contrive this theatrical showdown, rest assured myself and my editor will have front-row seats, popcorn at the ready.

What Else is Happening in Tech Today?

To add some variety to the news, let’s take a look at a few other noteworthy stories:

YouTube Targets Snake Oil

YouTube has made a commitment to eliminate content that promotes “harmful or ineffective” cancer cures and medical misinformation. The platform aims to counter vaccine misinformation and address unsafe abortion methods. By enforcing rules in high-risk scenarios with guidance from health authorities, YouTube seeks to strike a balance between covering medical topics while reducing harm.

X Shifts Advertising Strategy

X (formerly Twitter) has informed advertisers that they can no longer promote ads on the timeline aimed at gaining new followers. These “Follower Objective” ads, which generated $100 million annually, lacked the multimedia appeal that X now desires. Despite representing a minor portion of X’s revenue, the company is doing away with these ads at a time when it needs all the revenue it can get to combat its ongoing lack of profitability.

Amazon Devices Chief Departs

David Limp, Amazon’s devices chief responsible for managing Alexa and other iconic products, is set to retire. Limp’s departure joins the list of long-standing executives leaving under CEO Andy Jassy’s leadership. Despite selling over 500 million units, Amazon’s Echo devices have struggled to generate profits.

WeWork’s Perilous Path

In other news, WeWork, the global provider of flexible office spaces, faces the threat of bankruptcy once again. The company has warned of possible bankruptcy due to losses totaling $700 million in the first half of 2023. This uncertainty raises concerns for WeWork’s vast membership, numbering over 700,000 individuals who rely on its offerings.

If WeWork were to tread the path of bankruptcy, members might find themselves on the brink of eviction, as their contracts could be nullified. While the Chapter 11 bankruptcy code might offer a lifeline through restructuring, the fate of WeWork members will ultimately rest in the hands of landlords. Furthermore, the specific terms and conditions of individual contracts will determine whether these members will receive their deposits back.

In the event that landlords decide not to provide short-term leases or co-working spaces for affected WeWork members, legal battles may ensue. Although the contracts with WeWork may not have the official “lease” label, affected members could argue that the essence of the agreements places them in lease-worthy territory, regardless of nomenclature.

All in all, the technological tango between Musk and Zuckerberg continues to captivate audience attention. While the likelihood of an actual fight remains slim, the spectacle serves as a reminder of the ever-evolving dynamics within the tech industry. As technology continues to shape our lives, it’s important to stay informed about the latest developments and their potential impact on society.

Written by Kylie Robison, Technology and Media Expert

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