Elon Musk reportedly fired one of Twitter’s “two remaining principal engineers” earlier this week for a really petty reason: His own ego.
According to a story first reported by the tech industry website Platformer, the firing happened after the billionaire CEO asked the social media platform’s top remaining engineers why his own engagement appeared to have declined since he became owner, despite having more than 128 million followers.
“This is ridiculous,” Musk said, according to the website, which cited multiple sources with direct knowledge of the meeting. “I have more than 100 million followers, and I’m only getting tens of thousands of impressions.”
One engineer, who wasn’t identified by the site to minimize the type of harassment Musk has directed toward other former employees, decided speaking truth to power was the best option.
Although the engineers had previously researched whether the decline in engagement was artificially restricted, there was no evidence the algorithm was biased against Musk.
The engineer and others in the meeting reportedly showed Musk a Google trends chart showing that interest has declined drastically from last April, when he had a peak “interest” score of 100 but his current score was a measly 9.
Musk apparently handled the bad news like a true professional a petulent baby and fired the person who told him the truth.
“You’re fired, you’re fired,” Musk reportedly told the engineer.
HuffPost reached out to Musk via Twitter, but he did not immediately engage.
However, evidence suggests that Twitter’s appeal is declining in America, where the number of people using the platform has decreased almost 9% since Musk took over, according to BuzzFeed.
Another explanation for the decline may just be the site’s increasing glitchiness, which includes people seeing tweets from accounts they don’t follow inserted at random and an outage on Wednesday in which users were told, “You are over the daily limit for sending tweets.”
One currently Twitter employee summed up the current work environment to Platformer thusly: “As the adage goes, ‘you ship your org chart.’ It’s chaos here right now, so we’re shipping chaos.”