In videos circulating on Twitter Friday morning, two men carrying boxes are seen standing near the entrance to Twitter’s San Francisco building, claiming to have been laid off by Elon Musk, who officially took over the company Thursday evening.
There are plenty of problems with what these two men say to reporters. The most glaring is that one man identifies himself as a software engineer named “Rahul Ligma.” The Verge has confirmed that name does not exist in Twitter’s Slack or email system. There is also no evidence that the employee exists on LinkedIn.
“Ligma” is, of course, also an internet hoax designed to elicit the response “lick my balls” from people who are in on the joke. That didn’t stop multiple outlets, including CNBC and Bloomberg, from running headlines Friday saying that laid-off Twitter employees were leaving the building carrying boxes.
Musk fired many of Twitter’s top execs Thursday evening and has signaled that he will in fact lay off employees. But Ligma is not one of them. A spokesperson for Twitter didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Since we’re doing this, here are some other ridiculous things said by Ligma and his box-bearing associate:
- “It makes me worry about the future of our democracy... the future of celebrity conservatorship. I mean, when Britney [Spears] happened...”
- “Michelle Obama wouldn’t have happened if Elon Musk owned Twitter. Obama in 2008 wouldn’t have happened without Elon Musk owning Twitter.”
- “I even own a Tesla, man. I’m a big fan of clean energy, climate change, even free speech too.”
And here’s a video of the exchange: