Platform X has made headlines again, this time due to a defamation case that is being lodged against its CEO Elon Musk in Ireland by one of its former employees, Aaron Rodericks. Rodericks is a lawyer who worked for Twitter before it was acquired by Musk and later renamed X. He was the head of Twitter’s threat disruption team, which aimed to tackle misinformation on the platform.
However, last fall, Rodericks, along with other trust and safety workers, lost their jobs due to Musk’s extensive cost-cutting measures, which led to several thousand Twitter employees departing. Currently, Rodericks is suspended from his job. He has previously taken legal action against X and won in Ireland, which stopped him from being immediately fired. In this case, he argued that the attempt to fire him was not genuine and was based on his supposed involvement with tweets criticizing Musk.
On 15 January 2024, the Irish court granted permission to Rodericks to officially notify Musk about defamation claims. The defamation claims center around a tweet Musk posted after a round of layoffs that included Rodericks’s team focused on election integrity. Musk’s tweet, commenting on the team’s elimination, said, “Oh, you mean the ‘Election integrity’ team that was undermining election integrity? Yeah, they’re gone.”
According to Rodericks’ legal team, this tweet clearly refers to him, as he was one of the remaining employees working on election integrity. Despite Rodericks asking Musk to remove the tweet and make amends, there was no response. The tweet is still up, and when Rodericks approached Twitter’s Ireland unit, they claimed the tweet didn’t violate rules and denied responsibility.