Elon Musk fires disabled Twitter employee then LAUGHS at him in astonishing public row

Former Twitter employee 'Halli' was laughed at online by Elon Musk

Former Twitter employee 'Halli' was laughed at online by Elon Musk

Instagram @haraldurthorleifsson / Twitter @elonmusk
Carl Bennett

By Carl Bennett

Published: 07/03/2023

- 10:44

The online spat saw Musk claim: 'You can’t be fired if you weren’t working in the first place!'

A public rift between Elon Musk and a disabled Twitter employee has erupted after the member of staff took to the platform to ask if they still had a job.

Haraldur Þorleifsson, known as Halli, sold his tech company Ueno to Twitter in 2021, and had been a paid member of staff due to an agreement he made with the social network.

The majority of the purchase price was paid to him as a salary to maximise the tax he would pay for the sale in his home country of Iceland.

He said this move was so that those who need benefits from the Icelandic social system can receive them, having spoken publicly about the support he was given.

The Twitter bird and Elon Musk

Musk has faced multiple controversies since buying Twitter​


Despite reportedly being on a “do not fire” list, in February 2023, his employment was allegedly terminated following a round of layoffs – but he did not receive any confirmation from Twitter.

Taking to the social media platform directly, Halli messages Musk to clear up the situation.

The post, which has been seen by over 17 million users, said: “Dear @elonmusk

“9 days ago the access to my work computer was cut, along with about 200 other Twitter employees.

Former Twitter employee Halli asking Elon Musk if he has been fired

Halli felt forced to tweet Musk directly to ask about his employment status



“However your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not. You've not answered my emails.

“Maybe if enough people retweet you'll answer me here?”

Halli also asked for help from Twitter’s former owner Jack Dorsey, who acquired Halli’s company.

Replying four hours later, Musk asked: “What work have you been doing here?”

Elon Musk tweeting Halli

Musk gave Halli approval to tweet about his confidential work


When Halli said discussing the matter further online would “break confidentiality” and asking Musk to have his “lawyers share in writing that I can do that”, Musk reply: “It’s approved, you go ahead.”

The Icelandic designer, 45, gave examples of what he had done with Twitter, such as reportedly saving than half a million dollars on a contract, leading and hiring designing teams.

When asked to provide evidence to support his statements, Halli simply replied: “You locked my computer. I don't have access to any pics or docs. If you want to have it opened I can get you things.”

Halli, who was born with muscular dystrophy, continued to give examples, but pushed Musk to confirm his employment status.

Elon Musk laughing at Halli over his Twitter thread

Musk laughed in response to Halli's Twitter thread


“The original question was if I was still employed or not since you or your head of HR haven’t been able to answer that yet.

“But she did just miraculously reply so I finally have confirmation that I no longer work at Twitter!!”

He added in a separate tweet: “Now the next question is if you will make sure I get paid what I'm owed per my contract?!”

In one of his final replies directly to Halli, Musk simply tweeted two crying with laughter emoji faces, before responding with a link to a clip from 1999 movie Office Space asking: “Would you say you’re a people person?”

Halli tweeting asking if Elon Musk will avoid paying out his contract

Halli is awaiting further news as to whether Twitter will pay out his contract


Giving his final thoughts on the awkward situation, Halli tweeted: “Companies let people go, that’s within their rights.

“They usually tell people about it but that’s seemingly the optional part at Twitter now.

“But ok, fair enough, I’ve been laid off and I’m ok with that.

“Next up though is finding out if Twitter will pay me what they owe me per my contract.

Elon Musk tweeting that "you can't be fired if you weren't working in the first place"

Musk's last tweet on the matter


“Or, will @elonmusk, one of the richest people in the world, try to avoid paying?”

In a separate post on the argument, Musk defended his comments.

“The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) did no actual work, claimed as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet was simultaneously tweeting up a storm.

“Can’t say I have a lot of respect for that.

“But was he fired? No, you can’t be fired if you weren’t working in the first place!”

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