Elon Musk tweets then deletes DMs from Matt Taibbi about his Substack cut

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Elon Musk and one of his “Twitter Files” writers, Matt Taibbi, don’t seem to be on good terms right now, and that situation isn’t likely to get any better after Musk posted a DM conversation between the two and then deleted .

Let me try to summarize how we got to this point. I’m warning you now it’s a bit of a mess.

Those DMs are now deleted, but we’ve kept them, if you want to take a look:

Image: Elon Musk, in a now-deleted tweet

Image: Elon Musk, in a now-deleted tweet

Musk asks Taibbi in what appears to be a Signal chat, “Are you employed at Substack?” Taibbi explains that his subscribers pay him and that he was one of the first “Substack Pro” writers to get an upfront payment for a year in exchange for giving Substack 85 percent of subscription revenue. Taibbi also asks if Twitter will fix an issue where his Twitter Files threads were removed, and Musk says it will.

You can see where the DMs have been deleted by scrolling up in this thread or from the tweet below, where Musk claims that Substack was “illegally downloading massive amounts of data to prepopulate their Twitter clone”. (Best denied a similar claim over the weekend.)

In the end, the DMs aren’t so bawdy. But it’s a worrying sign that Musk, the most-followed person on Twitter, is willing to post what Taibbi probably expected to be private conversations. It’s also a curious wrinkle on Musk’s stated goal of making Twitter DMs encrypted. Encryption isn’t as useful for someone DMing them if they were just going to post a screenshot of the conversation anyway. On the other hand, it would mean that even the owner of Twitter can’t just peek into your private messages to grab material for his next thread.