Pranksters posing as laid-off Twitter workers trick media retailers: ‘Rahul Ligma’

A pair of pranksters posing as laid-off Twitter workers tricked a number of media retailers Friday as the general public anxiously awaited information on whether or not Elon Musk had begun axing staffers.

CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa interviewed two individuals who recognized themselves as Twitter workers and have been seen close to the corporate’s San Francisco headquarters carrying cardboard bins.

Skepticism instantly emerged on social media. One of many pranksters mentioned his identify was “Rahul Ligma” — a reference to a well-liked web meme — and held a duplicate of Michelle Obama’s e book “Becoming” aloft whereas talking to reporters. The opposite mentioned his identify was “Daniel Johnson.”

CNBC, Bloomberg, the Day by day Mail and NBC have been among the many retailers that reported layoffs have been underway after the duo spoke to the media.

“It’s happening,” CNBC’s Bosa tweeted. Complete group of knowledge engineers let go. These are two of them.”

“They are visibly shaken,” Bosa added. “Daniel tells us he owns a Tesla and doesn’t know how he’s going to make payments.”

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ABC7 Bay Space reporter Suzanne Phan additionally tweeted in regards to the alleged Twitter workers, writing that one had claimed “he was terminated during a zoom meeting.”

Bloomberg later reported that Twitter’s inner slack channels have “lit up with suspicion” that it was a hoax. The Verge confirmed the duo weren’t really ex-Twitter employees and had carried out a hoax.

As chatter a couple of potential hoax intensified, Bosa acknowledged there was confusion about whether or not layoffs have been really underway. CNBC up to date its story to acknowledge it wasn’t instantly capable of confirm their identities.

The Twitter pranksters recognized themselves as information engineers.
AFP through Getty Pictures

“Fyi -some questions being raised about whether these are really twitter employees,” Bosa added.

CNBC’s Yasmin Khorram mentioned somebody sitting on the entrance desk at Twitter’s workplace constructing mentioned that they had “never seen those 2 guys.”

Paul Lee, a product supervisor at Twitter, was amongst those that referred to as out CNBC over its report.

“Quite ironic that a major news outlet failed to do basic diligence and fell for a crisis actor prank, resulting in the spread of misinfo, on the first day of new ownership,” Lee tweeted. “All you had to do was ask to see a badge or look for bird-themed stuff in the boxes. Also we don’t use Zoom.”

Questions being raised if these are respectable workers. I requested somebody sitting on the entrance desk, they wouldn't remark however advised me "I've never seen those 2 guys."

— Yasmin Khorram (@YasminKhorram) October 28, 2022

“You got conned. Name is ‘Rahul LIGMA.’ C’mon man,” one other Twitter consumer wrote.

Twitter workers have feared for months that Musk would enact sweeping layoffs on the firm as soon as his $44 billion takeover was full. These fears escalated final week after the Washington Publish reported Musk was planning to chop 75% of Twitter’s 7,500-employee workforce.

Musk instantly fired a number of executives, together with CEO Parag Agrawal, however it’s nonetheless unclear what number of workers will probably be ousted. He denied the 75% determine was correct whereas assembly with Twitter workers earlier this week.

Fairly ironic {that a} main information outlet did not do fundamental diligence and fell for a disaster actor prank, ensuing within the unfold of misinfo, on the primary day of recent possession. All you needed to do was ask to see a badge or search for bird-themed stuff within the bins. Additionally we don’t use Zoom

— Paul Lee (@BeeBimBop) October 28, 2022

A supply acquainted with the scenario advised the Publish that Twitter workers really feel as if they’re “in limbo,” with nobody having a transparent thought of what number of layoffs are coming.

“People are just keeping their heads down until they see what happens,” the supply mentioned.

The supply added that remaining workers are fearful about talking to the media now that Musk has assumed management of the corporate.

“Folks don’t want to get fired for leaking,” the supply mentioned.

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