This story has been corrected to note that Alex Cohen is not a former Twitter employee
“‘I would like to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding of his situation. It was based on things I was told that were untrue or, in some cases, true, but not meaningful. He is considering remaining at Twitter.’”
— Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter
Elon Musk appeared to have a change of heart over a laid-off Twitter employee, following a public exchange between the two that drew a firestorm of criticism against the billionaire.
Haraldur “Halli” Thorleifsson, from the Icelandic capital Reykjavík, took to Twitter over the weekend to determine his employment status after discovering he had been locked out of his Twitter account, appealing directly to CEO Musk. “9 days ago the access to my work computer was cut, along with about 200 other Twitter employees. 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?” tweeted Thorleifsson. Responding to Thorleifsson on Tuesday across Twitter, Musk proceeded to pepper him with questions about his role at and contributions to the company, an exchange that critics described as toxic (the full back-and-forth is summed up in this tweet by Alex Cohen). It was during his public dialogue with Musk that the Iceland native, described on an his personal website as having a genetic muscular atrophy called Dysferlinopathy, said Twitter’s human-resources department had confirmed to him that he was no longer employed. But Musk’s subsequent tweet drew even more ire:
Thorleifsson had told Musk that his disability had reached a point at which he couldn’t do “manual work without (which in this case means typing or using a mouse) for extended p …