One of Elon Musk’s top aides reportedly promised an infamous right-wing provocateur that his Twitter ban would be lifted “soon”.
Jared Birchall, who heads Musk’s personal investment office and was a key adviser in his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, made the promise in a text message to activist Charles C. Johnson, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Johnson is a self-proclaimed investigative journalist who has become famous for his internet pranks and campaigns targeting left-leaning activists, politicians and journalists. Critics call him “digital Darth Vader” and “king of the trolls”.
He was banned from Twitter in 2015 for sending out a fundraising appeal in support of Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson, who called the remark a “serious threat” and called for Johnson to be banned from the platform. .
Johnson insisted he used the term “out” to refer to his plans to dig up McKesson, but Twitter sided with the BLM activist, banning Johnson as part of its policy against the targeted harassment.
Jared Birchall, who heads Musk’s personal investment office and was a key adviser in his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, made the promise in a text message to “troll king” Charles C. Johnson.
Johnson was banned from Twitter in 2015 for sending out a fundraising appeal in support of Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson, seen above being detained during a protest in 2016
The case became an early example of the social media site’s policies cracking down on controversial content, which critics say are biased against conservatives.
According to the Journal, when Johnson saw Musk’s recent offer to buy Twitter, he texted Birchall asking, “When will I get my Twitter account back?”
“Hopefully soon,” Birchall reportedly replied.
Johnson told the newspaper that while he wanted his account back, he didn’t plan on going back to regular tweeting, saying, “I’m on Twitter.”
Birchall did not immediately respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment on Saturday morning.
The fund manager, a 47-year-old married man with five children, has worked for Musk since 2016, helping manage an estimated fortune of some $240 billion.
Birchall runs what is known as Musk’s “family office” – a private wealth management advisory firm that serves ultra-high net worth individuals.
Critics call Johnson ‘digital Darth Vader’ and right-wing internet ‘king of trolls’
Birchall is also chief executive of Musk’s brain chip company Neuralink, director of Musk’s tunneling company The Boring Company, and a board member of the billionaire’s private philanthropic foundation.
The Journal’s new report also reveals details about Musk’s close relationship with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and suggests the iconoclastic billionaire wants to reinstate Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
Musk remains appalled that Trump remains banned from the platform after Twitter accused him of inspiring violence in the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol riot, people who spoke with Musk recently told the Journal.
Trump, who recently launched his own social media service Truth Social, said he would not return to Twitter even if his ban was lifted.
Dorsey, who was then CEO of Twitter, reportedly initially opposed Trump’s ban in early 2021, but acquiesced at the insistence of other executives.
Musk remains appalled that Trump remains banned from Twitter, his relatives say
Former Twitter executives told the Journals they became aware of Dorsey’s budding friendship with Musk in 2020.
A former Twitter executive said Dorsey sometimes seemed to space out in meetings because he messaged Musk during the workday.
“Elon is the singular solution I trust,” Dorsey tweeted on April 25, the day Twitter accepted Mr. Musk’s offer. “I trust his mission to expand the light of consciousness.”
If Musk is successful with his takeover bid, Dorsey stands to walk away with nearly $1 billion for his Twitter stake.
Meanwhile, at an emergency meeting on Friday, Twitter employees denounced Elon Musk’s deal to acquire the company for $44 billion, accusing the world’s richest man of bigotry and s worrying about potential job cuts once the deal is done.
Staffers at the “impromptu” general meeting asked angry questions of leaders, including CEO Parag Agrawal, who was described as looking tired and annoyed at times, according to Insider.
Reached by DailyMail.com on Saturday morning, a Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment on the encounter.
A former Twitter executive said Jack Dorsey (above) sometimes seemed to space out in meetings because he messaged Musk during the workday
Twitter’s headquarters are seen in San Francisco. Twitter staff members expressed fears over the upcoming layoffs during a staff meeting on Friday afternoon
An employee at the meeting described Musk as anti-gay and anti-transgender, fearing his property could hurt efforts to recruit new employees.
“What should we say to the LGTBQ community at the recruiting conferences we’re supposed to attend when they ask us why they should come to work on Twitter when we’ve just sold ourselves to an outspoken homophobe and transphobe?” the staffer asked Dalana Brand, director of human resources and diversity at Twitter.
Brand diplomatically avoided agreeing with Musk’s assessment, responding, “I can’t speak to Elon’s personal feelings on these things.” I can’t speak to what he’s done in his other companies, in terms of people’s experiences.
“Maybe in the future we can have a conversation. It can be eye-opening,” she added.
Twitter staff members have also expressed fears about the upcoming layoffs. Musk reportedly promised to cut executives’ pay after taking office, but a source said he would not make any decisions about the job cuts until he assumed ownership.
One employee, described as “angry and disappointed”, raised the issue with Agrawal in a read-aloud question at the meeting.
“I’m tired of hearing about shareholder value and fiduciary duty. What do you honestly think about the very high likelihood that many employees will not have jobs after the deal closes?” asked the employee.
Agrawal responded that Twitter has always cared about its employees and will continue to do so, but did not deny the possibility of layoffs.
“Different organizations have different cultures, but they excelled,” he said. “It will be different here than it is today, but for the people who are here, it will be worth being here.”
“I believe the future Twitter organization will continue to care about its impact on the world and its customers,” he said.