Elon Musk has joked that he will leave Twitter to a YouTube star in the event of his untimely demise, soon after musing that he might ‘die under mysterious circumstances.’
Musk made the remark in a brief tweet on Monday, responding to YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, also known as MrBeast, who has a massive following of 95 million on the video streaming platform.
‘If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin ya,’ Musk wrote in a tweet.
Donaldson responded by tweeting ‘If that happens can I have Twitter’, to which Musk responded simply ‘Ok’.
Elon Musk has joked that he will leave Twitter to YouTube star MrBeast (right) in the event that he dies unexpectedly
Seemingly recognizing that Musk’s succession-planning remark was a joke, Donaldson responded: ‘Jokes aside, be safe! I wuv u.’
Although the exchange seemed to be a joke, Musk in 2019 once casually agreed on Twitter to donate $1 million to a charity drive spearheaded by Donaldson, and followed through with the promise.
Donaldson had launched the #TeamTrees campaign in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation, soliciting donations to plant 20 million trees around the world to celebrate his 20 millionth subscriber.
After asking a question about the campaign on Twitter, Musk said that it ‘seems legit’ and vowed to donate $1 million, and even briefly changed his Twitter name to ‘Treelon’.
The Team Trees website confirmed that Musk made the donation for 1 million trees (at $1 per tree) soon after his tweet.
Donaldson, who has built a huge only following with his zany stunt videos, has also gained a reputation for charitable giving.
He launched his Beast Philanthropy channel in 2020, and it donates 100 percent of its advertising revenue, brand deals and merchandise sales to food drive charities.
YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, also known as MrBeast, has a massive following of 95 million on the video streaming platform
Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, is seen during a turkey giveaway at Pitt County Fairgrounds in Greenville, NC last November
Seemingly recognizing that Musk’s succession-planning remark was a joke, Donaldson responded: ‘Jokes aside, be safe! I wuv u’
Donaldson reportedly makes about $1 million per month from his YouTube videos, though that is a drop in the bucket compared to Musk’s net worth of roughly $240 billion.
Musk made headlines on Monday by tweeting that he was threatened by the head of Russia’s space agency over his attempts to provide Ukraine with internet service.
Musk, 50, has been using Starlink – a constellation of more than 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit – to beam internet connections to dishes around the world.
The service has a large presence in Ukraine, introduced with the explicit intention of keeping the country online amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
The billionaire said they had ‘resisted hacking and jamming attempts’ from the Russians back in April and were focusing SpaceX efforts on counter measures – at the expense of other projects.
He then added: ‘If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin’ ya.’
Many of Musk’s fans responded to the missive, including his own mother, Maye Musk.
Many of Musk’s fans responded to a tweet suggesting he might die under mysterious circumstances, including his own mother, Maye Musk
‘That’s not funny,’ Musk’s mother wrote with a few angry-faced emojis to go along with it.
‘Sorry! I will do my best to stay alive,’ Musk replied.
Musk is pursuing plans to purchase Twitter for $44 billion in a deal that is expected to close sometime this year.
Although he vows to elevate free speech on the platform, Musk has also given his support to a new European Union law aimed at protecting social media users from harmful content after he met with the bloc’s single market chief.
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he outlined to Musk how the bloc´s online regulations aim to uphold free speech while also making sure whatever is illegal ‘will be forbidden in the digital space,’ which Musk ‘fully agreed with.’
In a video Breton tweeted late Monday, Musk said the two had a ‘great discussion’ and that he agrees with the Digital Services Act, which is expected to get final approval later this year.
It will make big tech companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook parent Meta police their platforms more strictly for illegal or harmful content like hate speech and disinformation or face billions in fines.
Musk’s plan to buy Twitter for $44 billion has raised fears he would make changes to the platform that would prioritize free speech over online safety – potentially putting him at odds with the looming rules in Europe, which has led a global movement to crack down on the power of tech giants.
The 65-second clip indicates Musk’s and the EU’s views may be closer than they appear. Breton says in the video that he explained the Digital Services Act to Musk in a meeting at Tesla’s Texas headquarters. Musk responds by saying it’s ‘exactly aligned with my thinking.’
‘I agree with everything you said, really,’ Musk said. ‘I think we’re very much of the same mind and, you know, I think anything that my companies can do that can be beneficial to Europe, we want to do that.’