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It Was ‘Fake Musk’ Tweeting In Bhojpuri, And People Fell For It!

Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, was spotted tweeting in Hindi and Bhojpuri, which confused social media users until it was revealed that everything was a hoax. Elon Musk was busy defending his decision to charge $8 per month for blue tick (‘verified’) customers and the widespread layoffs while using his own name.

Posts from a verified account @iawoolford, whose display name had been altered to ‘Elon Musk,’ appeared amidst this. The handle, which is now suspended, formerly belonged to Ian Woolford, an Australian-American professor of Hindi who teaches at a university in Melbourne. When the hashtag #TwitterLayoffs posted several snarky remarks, along with some lines from Hindi movies and Bhojpuri music, at first sight, some believed it to be the internet mogul himself.

Additionally, Elon Musk’s Twitter profile picture had been replaced with the display image for @iawoolford. A tweet with the caption ‘This bird is sold’ was shared several times. It employed the widely spread ‘gormint bik gayi’ meme. ‘The broom will definitely take off this time! Corrupt Twitter will be struck by the broom! ‘Playing off the AAP’s election emblem and anti-corruption catchphrases, another tweet was sent.

There was also a Bollywood element, employing a well-known line from the film ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ said by Shahrukh Khan’s character: ‘Small things like this keep happening in huge nations… isn’t it?’  Numerous users retweeted this one as well, believing the erratic Musk was only making fun of himself. Another tweet used a famous Bhojpuri song: ‘Kamariya Kare Lapalap, Key Lollipop Lagelu’.

On the La Trobe University website in Melbourne, Mr. Woolford’s biography states that his areas of interest include ‘Hindi language and literature, North Indian folklore, Maithili and Bhojpuri languages, and LGBTQ+ Movements in South Asia’. He also reportedly knows Sanskrit, Bhojpuri, and Maithili in addition to reading, writing, and speaking Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. It wasn’t immediately obvious if Mr. Woolford was making fun of himself or whether his handle was being abused.

Elon Musk, meanwhile, showed no signs of being perturbed by the criticism he has been subjected to for his choice to charge Twitter users to become verified accounts. Musk repeated his opinion on the blue tick tax on Twitter on Saturday. He tweeted, ‘Trash me all day, but it’ll cost $8’.  He defended it by saying that Twitter was losing more than $4 million every single day, necessitating the firing of staff members. ‘Everyone who was let go received a 3 month severance package, which is 50% more than what was legally necessary’, he tweeted.



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