LeBron James and Elon Musk’s Twitter Interaction Has the Internet Fired Up

by Dustin Schutte
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

An interaction on Twitter between NBA star LeBron James and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is taking the Internet by storm. Concerns about hate speech on the social media app prompted a brief exchange between the two parties over the weekend.

James cited a story from The Washington Post that indicated that the use of racial slurs increased by an alarming 500% since Musk’s Twitter takeover. The NBA star called the report “scary AF.”

After James voiced his concerns, Musk responded by quote-tweeting Yoel Roth, Twitter’s Head of Safety and Integrity, which explained the situation.

“Over the last 48 hours, we’ve seen a small number of accounts post a ton of Tweets that include slurs and other derogatory terms,” Roth said. “To give you a sense of scale: More than 50,000 Tweets repeatedly using a particular slur came from just 300 accounts.”

Those who followed the brief interaction between James and Musk had plenty to say on the matter.

Kurt Wagner, who covers social media at Bloomberg, had some professional insight on the issue.

“This is giving me real Twitter-2015 vibes,” Wagner wrote. “Potentially losing users like LeBron will be the consequence of removing policies around hate speech if that ends up being Elon’s plan.”

One Twitter user expressed support for the NBA star.

“This is why LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all-time,” the individual wrote.

Another user on Twitter applauded Musk’s rebuttal by simply saying, “perfect response.”

Elon Musk Addresses Concerns Before LeBron James’ Tweet

Since Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, there had been some concerns addressed about the future of the social media. Musk addressed those prior to LeBron James’ tweet.

“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” Musk wrote. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.

“To be super clear, we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies.”

Musk taking over Twitter has been a move praised by some and harshly criticized by others. James was just the latest to voice his concerns with the app’s direction.