‘You Are Dead to Me:’ Elon Musk Rages at ‘Twitter Files’ Journo Matt Taibbi in Leaked Messages

Elon Musk’s turbulent relationship with journalist Matt Taibbi reached a breaking point this week, as leaked direct messages revealed the billionaire’s volatile temper and threats to his former “Twitter Files” ally.

Mediaite reports that journalist Matt Taibbi has published a series of unhinged direct messages from billionaire Tesla CEO and X/Twitter owner Elon Musk. The posts shed light on Musk’s mounting frustration over his former  ally’s coverage on Substack. Taibbi, who collaborated with Musk on the “Twitter Files,” publicly posted screenshots of private conversations on Thursday with messages dating back to January 2023, revealing the deteriorating relationship between the two over the past year.

Elon Musk’s Halloween costume (Taylor Hill /Getty)

At the heart of Musk’s ire for Taibbi is the journalist’s use of Substack for posting his articles. Musk started a war with Substack in 2023.

In one exchange Taibbi asks if his posts are being “shadowbanned” on Twitter, to which Musk responds: “We went on lockdown after discovering that Substack had stolen a massive amount of our data to prepopulate their Twitter rip-off. Looks like there is still a blanket search ban. Should be fixed by tomorrow.”

In another exchange, Taibbi asks: “Elon, I’ve repeatedly declined to criticize you and have nothing to do with your beef with Substack. Is there a reason why I’m being put in the middle of things? This really seems crazy,” to which Musk replied: “You are dead to me. Please get off Twitter and just stay on Substack.”

The posts highlight Musk’s short fuse when it comes to any perceived criticism, even from a longtime supporter like Taibbi. Once hailed as a “free speech absolutist,” Musk has grown increasingly intolerant of dissenting voices on the platform he paid $44 billion to acquire. Taibbi initially emerged as a vocal advocate of Musk’s vision for a less-regulated X/Twitter, but he adopted a more critical tone in recent Substack articles, blasting Musk’s “chaotic” management style and “tone-deaf” policy changes.

In a series of Tweets, Taibbi stated: “Supposed free speech champion @ElonMusk has decided to suppress this account forever, instead of just talking to me. @ElonMusk is uncomfortable around people who aren’t afraid of him, and wants to prove he can hurt my business instead of just talking to me, even if it means suppressing access to news he thinks is important.”

Read more at Mediaite here.

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