18 heated moments in Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg’s epic feud

Children of the 90s will surely remember the cult show Celebrity Deathmatch, in which stars as plasticine figures climbed into the ring against each other and happily dismembered each other. A real-life version of this has been in the works for years – between the two tech billionaires Elon Musk (Tesla, Twitter, SpaceX) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp). The beef of the two has a long history, which we show you here in all its infantile glory.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his organization Internet.org wanted to improve global Internet access with satellites. Musk’s company, SpaceX, was supposed to put the first one into orbit – but the rocket exploded when it was launched. Zuckerberg then said he was deeply disappointed that SpaceX had lost one of its satellites (source: CNBC). It wasn’t until two years later that Musk publicly apologized for it.

The beef starts with an expensive fail, hence: Beef level 2/10.

Today’s discussions about AI and its influence on our lives is not new, the topic came up in 2017. In a Facebook Live video, Zuckerberg criticized Musk as “rather irresponsible” for warning of doomsday scenarios should AI become too powerful (source: Axios).

Not very personal yet: Beef level 2/10.

Elon Musk, already an avid Twitter user at the time, reveals he spoke to Zuckerberg about it — and apparently wasn’t impressed by his knowledge of AI. “His understanding of the subject is limited,” he tweeted.

A first body hit Beef level increases to 3/10.

After Facebook and Zuckerberg came under severe pressure from the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, Musk insisted on deleting the Facebook pages of his companies Tesla and SpaceX and tweeting that he didn’t advertise on Facebook either – Zuckerberg so no money made with him.

Delete Facebook pages – meh. Beef level drops back to 2/10.

Zuckerberg came under increasing pressure as time went on. The influence he has on billions of people with his services Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp has critics like Sacha Baron Cohen calling for a limit to his power. Musk agrees with the criticism, calls for the end of Facebook and calls it “lame”.

Hard call, Musk raises it Beef level on 4/10.

After supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, Musk shared a meme that directly connects to Facebook, which started as a digital college yearbook. The idea is not far-fetched, because the Facebook algorithms have favored the spread of misinformation for years. Trump used this effectively to mobilize his supporters.

Blaming Facebook for one of the darkest hours in US history is fierce. The Beef level increases to 5/10.

Zuckerberg’s impact on billions of people remains a thorn in Musk’s side. In a TED Talk, he calls him “Mark Zuckerberg XIV,” a not-so-subtle reference to King Louis XIV, the dazzling king of France whose reign from 1643 to 1715 is considered the epitome of European absolutism.

A very baroque diss, it’s getting personal. Beef level 6/10.

Around Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, there are always discussions about the negative influence that such mass media have on people. Musk acknowledges that Twitter makes people angry — but not without throwing a dig at Zuckerberg’s Instagram. The platform makes people “depressed”. There is something to this accusation, Instagram has been criticized for years for promoting a dangerous self-image, especially among young people.

The criticism is not new Beef level drops to 5/10.

With Twitter running away from advertisers annoyed by Musk, Zuckerberg sees an opportunity to give the competitor the knockout – with a “sensibly managed” alternative, as The Verge quotes a senior Facebook executive. The app, codenamed P92, is intended to enable text-based status updates and work decentrally, more akin to Reddit’s subreddit structure (source: Platformer).

After many Musk taunts, Zuckerberg countered on a business level. Beef level 5/10.

When the then Twitter manager Foad Dabiri posted that WhatsApp used the microphone on his smartphone in the background, Musk gratefully accepted this template. “You can’t trust WhatsApp,” was his harsh verdict. Of course, Musk was not bothered by the fact that this was probably just a display bug in the data protection dashboard.

The Twitter banter continues to simmer, Beef level 5/10.

After a long time, Mark Zuckerberg speaks personally. During a long conversation on AI researcher Lex Friedman’s podcast, he says, among other things, that he thinks Twitter should have a billion users. In other words, Twitter — Musk’s newest toy — isn’t making enough of its opportunities. Zuckerberg also lets it be known that he sees enormous potential in the Twitter competitor developed by Meta.

As harmless as the podcast appearance was, it sets in motion a spiral of escalation, hence: Beef level 6/10.

Now it’s getting serious! Responding to renewed reports of Zuckerberg’s Twitter competitors, Musk is warned by a user to be careful with such comments because Zuckerberg is a master of the martial art of jiu-jitsu. Musk – for whatever reason – then suggests getting in a cage with Zuckerberg when he’s ready.

Fun? Meant seriously? As always, hard to tell with Musk, but the thermals are picking up. Beef level 7/10.

Unbelievable but true: Zuckerberg isn’t letting the challenge evaporate into the Twitter ether. He accepts it, in proper style in an Insta-Reel. “Send me the location,” his clear message.

Two of the richest people in the world escalate, Beef level 9/10.

Musk isn’t known for quickly retracting full-bodied announcements, so he ups the ante: “Vegas Octagon,” reads his simple tweet. What is obviously meant is the octagonal UFC cage in which MMA fights are fought. And of course it has to be the entertainment capital of Las Vegas.

Nobody wants to withdraw first, even tech billionaires are just little boys. Beef level 9/10.

Zuckerberg masters Jiu-Jitsu, Musk is more about quantity than technique. That’s why he makes no secret of his special move: the walrus. “I lie on top of my opponent and don’t do anything,” he describes his sophisticated fighting technique. For classification: Musk (just under 1.90 meters, approx. 90 kilograms) is significantly taller and heavier than Zuckerberg (just over 1.70 meters, approx. 70 kilograms).

Musk’s fighting style lacks finesse and aggressiveness, Beef level drops to 8/10.

Andrew Tate (profession: influencer / kickboxer / ass fiddle), who was arrested in Romania on suspicion of rape and human trafficking, places himself in Musk’s proverbial ring corner. He offers to train him and wants revenge on Facebook. His account there was blocked after he repeatedly spread false information about Covid vaccinations.

When questionable C-celebrities get involved, experienced trash lovers know: things are getting serious. Beef level 10/10.

Apparently concerned about her son’s well-being, Elon Musk’s mother Maye intervened. On – of course – Twitter, she calls the two brats to order and suggests that the conflict be settled with brains: face each other, fight with words, and the funniest one may win.

Mothers who scold their sons on the playground, who doesn’t know them. okay, take a deep breath Beef level 7/10.

Doubts about Musk’s martial arts are high, so the next supporter joins the long line of people keen to pick up a few attention crumbs from the spectacle. This time it’s OnlyFans model / MMA fighter Sophie Larissa Weiss who tells the British tabloid Daily Star about teaching Musk a few “dirty tricks”. Her price: 1 million British pounds. The fact that she finds him “weirdly hot” may be due to this fat wallet. At least honestly!

Dubious offers are part of every good fight, that’s clear. Only: when is it finally going to start? Beef level 8/10.

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