Elon Musk Gets Into Heated Exchange With Stephen King After the Author Refused to Call Twitter by Its New Name X

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 16, 2024 04:57 AM EST

Elon Musk, who spent billions in 2022 to acquire X, formerly known as Twitter, faced backlash after he asked users to stop calling the social media platform by its old name, and even renowned author Stephen King has criticized him. 

Twitter Removes Large Number Of Blue Verification Checks
(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
KNUTSFORD, UNITED KINGDOM APRIL 21: In this photo illustration tweets by Stephen King and Elon Musk is seen on a mobile cellphone on April 21, 2023 in Knutsford, United Kingdom.

Elon Musk vs. Stephen King: Author Refuses to Call Twitter' X'

According to The Advocate, Elon Musk got into a heated exchange with Stephen King on Wednesday over the 76-year-old author's refusal to call the site by its new name, X.

"According to the New York Times, terrorists may be paying for blue check marks on Twitter (I refuse to call it X)," King posted on X. 

Musk then responded: "Stop deadnaming X. Respect our transition." 'Deadnaming' is a term usually used when someone refers to a transgender person by their former name without their consent.

King was referring to a story by the New York Times about a report from the Tech Transparency Project, which found that X may be "violating US sanctions" because the platform allegedly accepted payments from individuals or organizations, like Hezbollah leaders and Houthi groups, that are prohibited from engaging in business with US companies.

READ NEXT: Elon Musk's Rocket Company SpaceX Changes Location of Incorporation From Delaware to Texas

Elon Musk and Stephen King Already Clashed in 2022

Citing a statement sent to Variety, Daily Mail reported that X said their "teams have reviewed the report and will take action if necessary," adding that the company was "always committed to ensuring that we maintain a safe, secure and compliant platform."

Stephen King later followed up his stand against the platform's name by posting on X: "Dear Elon: Twitter. Twitter, Twitter. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. And so on. F*** your need to put your personal brand on everything."

The author added: "Just because you bought it doesn't mean you own it." Wednesday's feud was not the first time between the two, as they had clashed heads on the social media platform.

In 2022, Musk and King also argued after the author responded to a report highlighting how Musk would charge for blue checkmarks.

King posted at the time: "F*** that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I'm gone like Enron." He also said: "It ain't the money, it's the principle of the thing." 

Musk then replied to King: "We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8 [per month]?"

READ MORE: Elon Musk's X Sued by Its San Francisco HQ Landlord for $13.6 Million, While SpaceX Fined After a Worker Accident

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