Elon Musk proposes an unconventional new competition with Mark Zuckerberg

Elon Musk proposed a new contest with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday. But it could make big advertisers even more nervous about returning to Twitter. What is Musk up to? The 52-year-old billionaire has suggested measuring their respective masculinities. Seriously.

“I propose a literal cock measuring contest,” Musk tweeted Sunday nightcomplete with an emoji of a ruler.

Musk sent the tweet as a follow-up to something he tweeted about nine hours earlier, announcing, “Zuck is a cuck.”

The proposal comes just two weeks after Musk and Zuckerberg vowed to physically fight each other in a literal cage fight. It’s still unclear if the fight will actually happen, but Musk tweeted photos of himself with trainers. Zuckerberg was already training jiu-jitsu before this billionaire fight was proposed.

Musk spent a lot of time tweeting Sunday, with a particular focus on Zuckerberg, whose company Meta recently launched a competitor to Twitter called Threads. Zuckerberg’s platform has already attracted over 70 million users, a number largely due to Threads making it easy for anyone with an Instagram account to join the new service.

There is speculation that Zuckerberg even rolled out the planned launch of threads ahead of schedule to capitalize on the chaos on Twitter. According to a report by The Verge, Meta featured internet celebrities in Threads and reportedly touted the new social media platform as a “sound” alternative to Twitter.

What mess exactly? Everything from Musk declaring that the perfectly harmless word “cisgender” is now a slur, to announcing that Tweetdeck would soon be a subscriber-only feature.

To top it off, Musk also announced last weekend that most users would only be allowed to read 600 tweets per day, which Atlantic humorously likened to setting a 12-item limit for all buyers at Costco. And although the tariffs have since increased significantly and perhaps even been abolished altogether, this move allowed competitors to take advantage of the situation. In fact, Twitter competitor Bluesky, recently founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, saw such an influx of new users last weekend that it was struggling to keep up and had to temporarily pause new signups. It should be noted that Bluesky is still in beta testing and is not available to the general public.

But none of these competitor efforts pleased Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion late last year. Musk handed over the CEO position to NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino in early June, who is widely believed to be just the kind of person who could make brands feel safe again on Twitter. But it seems like Musk is doing everything in his power to make it clear that Twitter is free for everyone and that’s how he likes it. It’s hard to think of any other explanation for why a man like Musk, who has invested so much money to make Twitter an attractive place for advertisers, would propose contests of the kind he did with Zuckerberg.

Where does Twitter go from here? Your guess is as good as mine, but Musk doesn’t make Yaccarino’s job any easier. And if advertisers were nervous before — some refused to even be seen at a marketing conference with Musk in April — they’re even more nervous now.

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