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Since the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, Internet users have welcomed the “return of freedom of expression” on the American social network. On October 30, 2022, accounts shared a video in which Elon Musk announced, live from a radio show, the dismissal of a Twitter employee “responsible for censorship” according to Internet users. But this video is actually a parody montage made from images from two old shows that have nothing to do with each other.
Verification in a nutshell
- On October 30, 2022, Facebook and Twitter accounts shared a video purporting to show the livestream firing of a radio show’s “Twitter censorship chief.” These images exceeding 35,000 views show Elon Musk interrupting an employee to say “you are fired”.
- But this dismissal did not take place directly from a broadcast. This video is actually a montage made from two old shows recorded by host Joe Rogan on September 7, 2018 and March 5, 2019.
- The editing comes from the account of Damon Imani, a producer based in Denmark accustomed to parody editing by combining different sequences.
- On October 28, 2022, just hours after Elon Musk took over Twitter, Vijaya Gadde, head of Twitter’s legal department, was effectively fired, as were several executives of the American social network.
The details of the check
“The bird is free”. It is with these words published on his Twitter account that billionaire Elon Musk finally announced on October 28, 2022 the completion of his takeover of the American social network. And just hours after that posting, several Twitter employees, including its former chief executive, were fired.
On social networks, French and English accounts have welcomed these decisions which, according to them, would mark the return of “freedom of expression” on the social network. Among these accounts, some even shared a video purporting to show the “firing of the head of censorship of Twitter”.
These images released on October 30, 2022 show the recording of a radio show organized by American host Joe Rogan, in which Elon Musk and Vijaya Gadde, former head of the legal department of Twitter, would therefore have participated. However, according to this video, in the middle of the show, Elon Musk would have interrupted Vijaya Gadde by saying to him “you are fired”.
If Vijaya Gadde was indeed fired on October 28, 2022, is this video which quickly exceeded 35,000 views authentic?
To answer this question, we must find the exact origin of these images. For this, you can search on Google for the keywords “Joe Rogan Vijaya Gadde”. This search notably makes it possible to find a program broadcast live on March 5, 2019 on Joe Rogan’s YouTube channel.
During this show, Joe Rogan received Vijaya Gadde and Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter, to address the issue of moderation on this social network. However, all the visual elements of this show, in particular the outfits of Joe Rogan and Vijaya Gadde, correspond to those of the video published on October 30, 2022.
This program was recorded on March 5, 2019. There are precisely several excerpts used in this video. For example, after 26 minutes and 34 seconds of video, Vijaya Gadde utters the phrase “I think we’ve failed in a couple of ways”, a extract that we find again identically in the video broadcast on October 30, 2022 on Facebook and Twitter.
On this date, Elon Musk was not invited to participate in the Joe Rogan show. The American billionaire was interviewed by the host on September 7, 2018. And again, these are excerpts from this old show that were used to design this video shared in recent days on several social networks.
So where does this montage come from where we see Elon Musk and Vijaya Gadde participating in the same show? As can be seen on the video with the identifier @damoniman, this montage was made by the account of Damon Imani, a producer based in Denmark, which can be found on Instagram.
This montage was posted on Instagram on October 29, 2022. Its author, producer Damon Imani’s account, clarified that this video is a parody.
The account is also a regular at humorous montages featuring personality radio interviews, like here, from Mark Zuckerberg.
Thus, contrary to what some Twitter and Facebook accounts claim, Vijaya Gadde was not fired by Elon Musk in full live from a radio show. This video is actually a parody montage made from images from two separate shows respectively broadcast on September 7, 2018 and March 5, 2019.
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