The New York congresswoman accused him of trying to turn freedom of speech into a monthly subscription plan.
Elon Musk and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sparred on Twitter over the billionaire’s idea to charge $8 a month for the privilege of having verified status on his newly purchased platform. Both have enormous followings on Twitter, but have significant differences of opinion regarding policy.
The congresswoman from New York, who also goes by AOC, blasted the idea of making blue check verification available only to premium subscribers, tweeting on Wednesday: “Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that ‘free speech’ is actually a $8/mo subscription plan.”
The left-wing politician relied heavily on her Twitter following to defeat Democratic heavyweight Joe Crowley in a primary for the 2018 congressional election.
Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” returned fire: “Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8.” He then posted a screenshot from AOC’s merch shop, highlighting the $58 price tag of a sweatshirt.
Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
AOC pushed back, saying she was proud of the merch and the fact that her workers are unionized, unlike employees at Musk’s companies. The Tesla CEO is famously opposed to labor unions.
She also claimed that her Twitter notifications were “conveniently” not working, concluding that she must have “gotten under a certain billionaire’s skin.”
Also my twitter mentions/notifications conveniently aren’t working tonight, so I was informed via text that I seem to have gotten under a certain billionaire’s skin ????
Just a reminder that money will never by your way out of insecurity, folks.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 3, 2022
The ‘billionaire’ had a similar interaction with American author Stephen King, also a vocal advocate of left-wing causes. King threatened to leave Twitter if verification becomes a premium service. “F**k that, they should pay me,” he tweeted on Monday. Musk responded by trying to negotiate a suitable subscription price.
Musk claimed that his $44 billion purchase of Twitter last month was ideologically motivated. He expressed concern with the platform’s content moderation policies, saying it needs to become a neutral marketplace of ideas. Critics claim that Musk will turn the service into an unregulated cesspool of bigotry, hatred, and white supremacy.