X to fund legal bills for employees who have been “unfairly treated” over their actions on the platform

In an unexpected move (or maybe expected now, since its Musk?), billionaire Elon Musk announced that X – the erstwhile Twitter – will now pay the legal bills of any users of his platform who have been “unfairly treated” by their employer(s) due to their actions on the platform. This comes soon after the billionaire claimed that the monthly users of the micro-blogging site had reached a “new high,” and shared a graph that showed the latest count as over 540 million.

As surprising as this sounds, this is exactly what it seems like. “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” Musk announced in a post on X late on Saturday.

He went on to add that there will be no limits to funding the bills, and X will go after the boards of directors of the companies as well.

For now, Musk did not elaborate on what he considers to be unfair treatment for users, or how people should contact the former X executive. It is also unclear as to why this offer is being made out of the blue, but comes shortly after NASCAR driver Noah Gragson received an indefinite suspension after allegedly liking a meme on Instagram that mocked the late George Floyd.

This move is an ironic one, given that several of Twitter’s former employees had more than enough reason to sue X and Musk after being fired. For those who need a reminder, the Twitter owner – and former CEO – had personally fired seven engineers for criticizing and correcting their employer – aka Musk – on Twitter at an earlier time, and X’s cash flow currently remains negative because of its heavy debt load.

A steep plunge in advertising revenue has not helped matters, especially as advertisers are abandoning ship to prevent their ads appearing from harmful or sensitive content. Musk’s gimmicks to make people pay to get and retain their verified checkmarks have tried their best to turn Twitter Blue into a new stream of revenue, and last month, brands were warned that they will lose their gold-coloured verification badge unless they reach certain spending thresholds.

It will be interesting to see whether this latest gimmick succeeds in attracting new users to X and boost user engagement, especially since Threads’ star is swiftly waning. If Musk does keep to his word and actually pay the legal tab, users may feel more encouraged to participate in discussions, express their opinions, and engage with others. As this situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how other social media platforms will respond and whether Musk’s actions will impact corporate policies (even those at X) and attitudes towards user expression in the digital realm.