As Elon Musk’s Fortune Dwindles, Twitter Has Quit Paying Rent

Reports say that Twitter 2.0 has stopped paying bills in advance of the likely legal hell about to befall owner Elon Musk

The crucial maxim of any successful business venture is, “You’ve got to pay the cost to be the boss.” But Tesla-SpaceX Chief and Twitter Commander Elon Musk is apparently not privy to that wisdom, as his recently acquired social media company has simply stopped paying many of its bills, according to several reports.

For instance, the New York Times claims to have three secret sources “close to the company” telling the paper that Twitter hasn’t paid the rent at its San Francisco HQ or other offices around the world in weeks. If it’s true that Musk has actually stopped paying rent, it means he has finally made the transition from online nuisance to IRL squatter, which is not a great profile for the World’s Richest Man… But that’s no problem, either, as Musk’s Twitter fandango seems to have helped to strip him of that title, with Tesla stock careening 28 percent since Musk bought Twitter.

In the aftermath, according to Forbes, Musk is now worth a measly $178 billion, making him the world’s second richest person behind LVHM CEO Bernard Arnault and his estimated self-worth of $188 billion. Yes, thanks to Musk’s varied antics, the most moneyed individual on earth is a jumped-up schmatta salesman.

The Times further reports that—according to “seven people familiar with internal conversations”—Musk and his team have revamped Twitter’s legal department, pushed out one of his own closest advisers along the way, and instructed employees to not pay vendors because Musk may be in line to reap a legal whirlwind.

In one lawsuit, Twitter is refusing to pay a $197,725 bill for private charter flights made the week of Musk’s takeover.

And while Twitter leaders aside from Musk have discussed the jam the company will be in if it denies severance payments to thousands of people who have been laid off since the takeover, two people familiar with the talks told the Times that Musk has threatened employees with lawsuits if they go public with grievances or “act in a manner contrary to the company’s interest,” according to an internal email sent last Friday.

Despite Musk’s wishes, others are free to discuss his ever-greasier iteration of Twitter. Bill Reynolds, a Colorado landlord who leased the company around 40,000 square feet in Boulder, tells Axios: “If you don’t pay, you don’t stay. They aren’t paying, so they aren’t staying.”

In further Musk fun, the Associated Press reports that he has canned Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group of around 100 independent civil, human rights and other organizations that the company formed in 2016 to address hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm and other problems on the platform.

The council had been scheduled to meet with Twitter representatives Monday night, but was informed via email just before the meeting that its services will no longer be required, that Twitter was “reevaluating how best to bring external insights” and that the council is “not the best structure to do this.”

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