Musk Issues NSFW Challenge as Threads Hits 100M Signups

'Someone, please, make it stop' is the plea of one writer
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2023 8:57 AM CDT
Zuckerberg-Musk Rivalry Somehow Gets Weirder
Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Elon Musk.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, Stephan Savoia)

Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter rival Threads had a strong weekend, with the Verge reporting that the platform has now surpassed 100 million signups. At the same time, Twitter's own traffic is "sinking," according to the head of internet services company Cloudfare, notes the Guardian. Cloudfare's Matthew Prince backed up his assertion with this tweeted graphic. Meanwhile, Elon Musk has taken his online criticism of Threads to a weird new level. Coverage:

  • Context: Hitting 100 million users in a few days is impressive, all the more so because people are actually posting, not just signing up, write Jay Peters and Jon Porter at the Verge. "That said, Threads is still in its infancy, and we'll have to wait and see if it captures the same cultural cachet that Twitter once did." For context, Twitter claimed to have around 260 million daily active users in November.
  • Musk attack: Over the weekend, Musk complained that Threads is "just Instagram minus pics, which makes no sense, given that thirst pics are the main reason people use that app," notes the Daily Beast. But then things got a little more coarse, as he wrote, "Zuck is a cuck," a reference to a particular sexual fetish. Then he one-upped himself with this doozy of a challenge: "I propose a literal d--- measuring contest," he tweeted, complete with ruler emoji. (And, yes, he spelled the word out.)

  • Response: Zuckerberg has not accepted or even responded to said challenge, but given that the two billionaires have previously agreed to a cage fight, Cheryl Teh at Insider has a plea: "Someone, please, make it stop." Elaborating: "Is this our future? Billionaires, unbound by laws, sending us pictures of their hogs? This aggression cannot stand."
  • Both ways: At Quartz, Scott Nover writes that Zuckerberg has been engaging in mockery of his own, responding a few times to Threads comments with the single word "concerning," which Musk famously does a lot. That aforementioned cage fight now looks unlikely, writes Nover, "but an online flame war, for which these particular combatants seem better equipped, has already begun."
  • High-profile convert: Remember the college student whose Twitter account was suspended because he tracked the comings and goings of Musk's private jet? The student, Jack Sweeney, has moved the account to Threads, reports the Guardian, and is posting.
(More Elon Musk stories.)

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