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Musk fires engineer for correcting him on Twitter

by on15 November 2022

“Free speech” means agreeing with me tiny human

Self-proclaimed free speech advocate Elon [look at me] Musk has fired a Twitter engineer for correcting him.

To show how much free speech he had available to him, Musk bragged about the firing on his account.

Eric Frohnhoefer dared to argue publicly with Musk on the platform after Musk claimed that Twitter was slow in many countries because of more than 1,000 “poorly batched” remote procedure calls to load the home timeline.

Frohnhoefer, who tweeted that he’s spent six years working on Twitter for Android, quote retweeted Musk’s statement saying it was incorrect and to make matters worse told the public why his boss was wrong.

According to Frohnhoefer, Twitter actually makes zero remote procedure calls, or RPCs. Instead, he says, when the app starts up, it makes around 20 background requests.

When he was caught out, Musk responded, “The fact that you don’t realize that there are up to 1200 ‘microservices’ being called when someone uses the Twitter app is not great.”

Frohnhoefer disagreed again, tweeting that the “number required to generate the home timeline is closer to 200 than 1200.”

After hours of arguing, Musk said that Frohnhoefer should’ve brought his concerns about the original tweet up in private on Slack rather than publicly calling Musk out and fired him.

Frohnhoefer told Forbes that it took Twitter around five hours to lock him out of his company computer, but that he hadn’t heard any formal information about his firing from the company.

Musk fired all his communications department, so he does not have one these days.

Frohnhoefer is not the only one on Twitter who has been fired for “free speech.”

Sasha Solomon, who identifies herself as a Twitter tech lead, quote retweeted it, saying, “You did not just layoff almost all of infra and then make some sassy remark about how we do batching.” She also accused Musk of not learning about how GraphQL works and not knowing how Twitter’s infrastructure works.

On Monday evening, Solomon tweeted “lol just got fired for shitposting.” Her thread doesn’t mention whether she was fired by Musk directly, and he doesn’t appear to have responded to her tweets criticising him like he did with Frohnhoefer.

But it does look like when Musk talked about free speech he was talking about him, his rich chums, and MAGA groups rather than workers or anyone else who might disagree with him.  Maybe he should look up what the phrase means.


Last modified on 15 November 2022
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