Duel Musk and Zuckerberg is great publicity for both billionaires
In Italy, a fight between Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may take place in the near future.
Multibillionaires have come to the point where the conflict of commercial interests, the difference in worldviews and excitement do not allow avoiding a public showdown.
The owner of the social network X (Twitter) Elon Musk said that with the consent of Italian Prime Minister Giorgi Meloni and the country’s Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano, the long-awaited duel will take place in one of the country’s epic places. The broadcast will be organized on platforms X (formerly Twitter) and Meta*, and all proceeds from the event will be donated to the Veterans Fund. At the initiative of the Italian side, part of the money will be sent to two pediatric hospitals to strengthen the material and technical base and conduct scientific research to combat childhood diseases. The Minister of Culture of Italy noted that the fight would not take place in the Colosseum, as the rivals had originally assumed, but in another historical place, the Corriere della Sera newspaper suggests that the fight could be organized in Pompeii.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk challenged his rival at the end of June when Zuckerberg launched Threads, an app that could poach some users of Musk’s social network X.
According to some reports, Musk was especially annoyed by the announcement by Meta* director of product Chris Cox that the new project would be an alternative to Twitter, with the difference that Project 92 (future Threads) would be organized “with sensible leadership.” Musk expressed confidence that “the Earth can’t wait until she is completely under the heel of Zuckerberg,” but “it will be reasonable.” Passions ran high to such an extent that the head of X announced his desire to fight in a cage with his competitor. Zuckerberg accepted the challenge and offered to have a duel on August 26th. Musk has not yet decided on the exact date: it is known that the mother of the entrepreneur was categorically against the fight.
The billionaire rivalry goes far beyond the competition between the two platforms. Both entrepreneurs in the eyes of the public are innovators and creators of modernity. Before buying Twitter, Elon Musk worked mainly in the field of new technologies, produced electric cars and, with the tacit approval of NASA, explored space. Zuckerberg created his universe in the virtual space: first, within the framework of the social network Facebook**, and then in the vastness of the metaverse. In July 2017, the media mogul accused his opponent of being irresponsible when developing new ideas in the field of artificial intelligence, to which Musk retorted with the words about Zuckerberg’s extremely limited knowledge in this area. Since then, Musk has repeatedly urged Facebook** users to leave Zuckerberg’s platform, stating that the sole owner of Facebook**, WhatsApp** and Instagram** is a real threat to freedom of public discussion.
There is an opinion that the real reason for the differences between entrepreneurs is not the subtleties of technological progress, but its sociocultural aspect, that is, the opposition of the physical to the virtual.
It is known that in June 2022, Elon Musk, after the official end of the coronavirus pandemic, demanded that his subordinates abandon remote work and return to visiting the office in the previous 40-hour mode, insisting on the value of direct contact between employees. Mark Zuckerberg relied on the creation of a metaverse where any contact takes place exclusively remotely. Elon Musk contemptuously defined the idea of a metaverse as “much ado about nothing.”
Musk’s world implies the reality of objects and technologies that can be touched by being in close physical proximity with them. This is the sense of connection that Musk seeks in the work of his subordinates. Zuckerberg, on the contrary, creates a sense of reality, provided that objects can be several thousand kilometers apart. Unsurprisingly, Musk’s stance on restrictive rules during the pandemic, especially social distancing, turned out to be rather negative, while Zuckerberg fully supported the policies of US chief immunologist Anthony Fauci. At the same time, many months later, the main fighter against fake news during the pandemic still admitted that he “censored reliable information about the coronavirus.”
Zuckerbeg continues to actively fight all the news that his team considers false. The published materials about the contents of the computer of Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, were also considered as such. Elon Musk, on the contrary, once again announced the rejection of any censorship, paving the way for free opinion and discussion, as in the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines.
One thing is clear: the future fight and its broadcast will not only be a rich source for charity, but also an excellent advertisement for both Zuckerberg’s virtual universe and Elon Musk’s projects.