Twitter’s potential future owner Elon Musk apparently thought for a moment that it would be a grand idea to fuse the blue bird app with his pal Kanye West’s potential new social media platform Parler. So, in typical Musk form, he tweeted out a Dragon Ball Z meme featuring him and West, who is legally known as Ye. Then, after giving it some serious thought or perhaps receiving a call from his lawyers, he deleted it with no explanation.
Musk tweeted out the meme on Monday after news broke that Ye had entered into an agreement “in principle” with Parler parent company Parlement Technologies to buy the right-wing social media app for an undisclosed amount. For those unfamiliar with Dragon Ball Z, the meme depicts what is known as the “fusion dance,” a synchronized dance characters use to temporarily fuse themselves together to create a more powerful and superior being.
In a follow-up tweet, which was also deleted, Musk added: “Fun times ahead!!”
Alas, it seems Musk wasn’t done with tweeting and then deleting memes this week. On Tuesday, he tweeted a meme of himself, Ye, and former President Donald Trump as the Three Musketeers. In the meme, each sword represented a social network. Trump wielded Truth Social, Ye held Parler, and Musk held “X,” a platform he has touted as his “everything app,” similar to WeChat.
“In retrospect, it was inevitable,” Musk said, deleting the tweet with the meme later on.
Earlier this month, Instagram restricted Ye’s activity on the app and Twitter locked him out of his account for posting antisemitic content, including saying that he was going to go “death con 3" on Jewish people.
After being restricted on Instagram, Ye went over to Twitter on Oct. 8 and tweeted for the first time in almost two years. He was greeted enthusiastically by Musk, who said, “Welcome back to Twitter, my friend!”
However, it didn’t take long for Ye to get in trouble on Twitter for posting antisemitic messages like he had posted on Instagram. Within hours, Twitter deleted the “death con 3" tweet and locked the artist out of his account.
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” Ye wrote in the now-deleted tweet, which was screenshotted by many users. “The funny thing is I actually can’t be antisemitic because black people are also Jew [sic]. You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever [sic] opposes your agenda.”
Sensing the storm forming around Ye, Musk tweeted on Oct. 10 that he had spoken to his friend to “express [his] concerns” about the antisemitic tweet.
“Talked to ye today & expressed my concerns about his recent tweet, which I think he took to heart,” Musk tweeted.
If taking Musk’s concerns to heart means saying you’re buying a social media app known for its lax moderation and “anything goes” policy, then I guess Ye did heed his friend’s words.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Monday, Ye shared that getting locked out of Instagram and Twitter motivated his decision to buy Parler because “enough was enough.”
“We’re using this as a net for the people who have been bullied by the thought police to come and speak their mind,” West stated. “Express how you feel. Express what’s tied up inside of you. Express what’s been haunting you. I use social media as my therapist.”
Notably, Parler CEO George Farmer is married to Candace Owens, the right-wing commentator who took a photo with Ye wearing his controversial “White Lives Matter” T-shirt.
Ye told Bloomberg that when he spoke to Musk about the incident with his deleted tweet, the tech mogul didn’t advise him on buying Parler. It was a decision he made on his own. Let’s be frank, though. Considering the drama Musk has caused with over his whim to buy Twitter, back out, and then say he’s all in again, he shouldn’t be giving anyone purchase advice.
The prospect of fusing Twitter and Parler is enough to give anyone a headache, but wouldn’t completely be off the table if Musk and Ye were in charge. Who knows what kind of toxic unmoderated swamp we would end up with then? Luckily, both Ye and Musk are big talkers, but not so big on action. So let’s wait until they actually own the things to speculate about what would happen.
Update 10/18/2022, 5:42 p.m. ET: This post has been updated with the Three Musketeers meme Elon Musk tweeted then deleted on Tuesday.