- Elon Musk slammed Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, saying he seemed “extremely partisan.”
- He then bashed WhatsApp on Tuesday, tweeting that the platform “cannot be trusted.”
- The pair have sparred before, but Musk is growing increasingly critical of his fellow tech CEO.
Elon Musk is amping up his beef with Mark Zuckerberg this week, saying the Meta CEO seems “extremely partisan,” and blasting WhatsApp over privacy concerns.
The Twitter owner on Monday tweeted an article published in 2021 by The Federalist, a right-wing online magazine, which claimed that Zuckerberg “bought” the 2020 presidential election through $400 million in donations.
Zuckerberg’s funds went to non-profits aimed at helping local election offices bolster their operations. However, this fact has been misconstrued and pushed as part of a sprawling, far-right conspiracy theory, based on the claim that Zuckerberg stole the election for Biden in 2020.
Still, these claims appeared to piqued Musk’s interest some 19 months later.
“Interesting article,” he tweeted, suggesting that Twitter users can use the platform’s community notes feature to “add further context & corrections.”
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2023
When another user tweeted a separate article that said one of the non-profits funded by Zuckerberg spent most of its money on Democrat regions, Musk responded: “It would seem that he is *extremely* partisan.”
Zuckerberg has denied that his donations would be used in a partisan manner, saying that all qualified jurisdictions that applied for grants with the non-profit would be approved.
And on Tuesday, Musk moved on to criticizing WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta. On Tuesday, a Twitter engineer wrote that he’d found that WhatsApp had been using his phone’s microphone while he was asleep.
“What’s going on?” tweeted the engineer.
“WhatsApp cannot be trusted,” Musk wrote, retweeting his employee’s post.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2023
He said many people don’t realize “that WhatsApp founders left Meta/Facebook in disgust” or supported the #DeleteFacebook campaign from 2018.
“What they learned about Facebook & changes to WhatsApp obviously disturbed them greatly,” Musk wrote.
WhatsApp’s cofounders, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, left their company after it was bought by Meta. The pair had clashed with Zuckerberg and Facebook executives over its data policies and encryption.
When Facebook faced its Cambridge Analytica scandal, Acton jumped in on the action. “It is time. #deletefacebook,” he tweeted.
—Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
As for the Twitter engineer’s concerns about WhatsApp using his microphone, the company tweeted on Tuesday evening that the cause of any monitoring was likely a bug.
“We believe this is a bug on Android that mis-attributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate,” the company said. It said WhatsApp only uses a phone’s microphone when the user is making a call or recording.
Musk has in recent years grown increasingly critical of Zuckerberg. At a Ted conference in 2022, he knocked the Meta CEO’s ownership of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, comparing Zuckerberg to King Louis XIV, the long-reigning French monarch who wielded vast power.
Musk also supported the #DeleteFacebook campaign, calling Facebook “lame” in 2020.
And when Zuckerberg questioned Musk’s negativity toward AI as “irresponsible” in 2017, Musk tweeted that the Meta CEO’s “understanding of the subject is limited.”
Musk and Meta did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.