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When fake ‘Elon Musk’ tweeted about layoffs, and people fell in love

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Elon Musk was quick with big changes on Twitter within a week of his purchase. (Case)

New Delhi:

Social media users were left baffled as new Twitter chief Elon Musk tweeted in Hindi and Bhojpuri today – until it turned out it was all wrong.

Elon Musk, real alias, was busy reinforcing his decision to charge $8 a month for blue tick (“verified”) users and mass layoffs.

In the midst of this, messages from a verified handle @iawoolford had changed the display name to “Elon Musk”. Now hanging, the handle originally belongs to Ian Woolford, an Australian-American Hindi professor who works at a university in Melbourne.

With the hashtag #TwitterLayoffs, when he shared sarcastic posts – as well as Hindi film dialogue and Bhojpuri songs – people at first glance thought he was the tech billionaire himself.

@iawoolford’s display image has also been replaced with the one Elon Musk uses on his Twitter profile.

One of the messages, retweeted hundreds of times, read: “This bird is sold”. He used the viral “gormint bik gayi” same.

“This time the broom will work, this time the broom will work!” The broom will strike the corrupt Twitter! said another tweet, playing on the AAP’s poll symbol and anti-corruption slogans.

There was also a Bollywood angle, using famous dialogue from the film, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, said by Shahrukh Khan’s character: “Little things like this keep happening in big countries…isn’t it not?”

This too was retweeted by dozens of people thinking the mercurial Musk was simply parodying himself.

Another tweet used a famous Bhojpuri song: “Kamariya Kare Lapalap, Key Lollipop Lagelu.”

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Mr Woolford’s profile on the website of La Trobe University, Melbourne, lists his research interests: “Hindi language and literature, North Indian folklore, Maithili and Bhojpuri languages, and LGBTQ+ movements in South Asia” . He says he can read/write/speak Hindi, Urdu and Persian; in addition to knowing Sanskrit, Bhojpuri and Maithili.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr Woolford was joking or whether his handle was misused.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk was unaffected by the criticism he received over his decision to charge Twitter users for verified accounts.

On Saturday, Musk took to Twitter and reiterated his stance on the blue tick fee. “Get me off all day but it’ll cost $8,” he tweeted.

Defending his decision to lay off employees, he said it was necessary because Twitter was losing more than $4 million a day. “Everyone released was offered 3 months severance pay, 50% more than the legal requirement,” he tweeted.

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