If you’re a reporter reaching out to Twitter’s press department, you’ll now be greeted with an automated response in the form of nothing but a poop emoji. Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced this change proudly in a Twitter tweet Sunday morning. I verified it by asking for comment via email.
“email@example.com now auto responds with [poop emoji],” Musk tweeted.
Prior to Musk’s takeover, journalists could usually count on getting a reply via email. But when Musk took over the platform in late October, following a $44 billion deal, Twitter’s press team stopped replying to emails.
Musk is notoriously hostile to journalists over what he believes is a bias against his companies and completely got rid of Tesla’s press department back in 2020. Some Tesla investors have begged Musk to bring back Tesla’s press team, but Musk doesn’t think such a department is necessary.
“Other companies spend money on advertising & manipulating public opinion, Tesla focuses on the product. I trust the people,” Musk tweeted back in April 2021.
However, a lack of a strong press department can lead to bad information and encourage innuendo on social media. A lack of a strong press department at a company could also make it difficult for the public to be informed on the business leaders’ future plans.
Musk, for example, announced in a tweet that Twitter would share ad revenues with creators at the beginning of February. Naturally, there were many questions. If Twitter had a press team, they could’ve fielded basic questions about the timing of the rollout and how much money creators would’ve received. People tried to contact Musk directly for answers, but he was a bit vague. To this day, it’s still unclear how the revenue sharing program works because Twitter hasn’t issued a press release with basic information.
Musk can run Twitter as he pleases. In December, Musk held a twitter poll to determine whether or not he should be removed as chief executive of the company. He lost the poll by overwhelming margins. As for me, I was also interested in his potential replacement as CEO. So, at that time, I even sent him an email. At the time, I didn’t receive a response. But now, all I’ll get it a poop emoji.
Musk holding such a poll, and then refusing to abide by its results seems ridiculous. But that’s probably just my terrible bias as a member of the press.