Elon Musk accidentally revealed he had an alternate Twitter account on Monday and that more than 24,700 of his followers pay $4 per month for access to his subscriber-only content on the social media site, providing Musk with a monthly haul of nearly $100,000.
The smoking gun was a simple and innocent-looking screenshot. On Monday, Musk shared a screenshot of the navigation menu on his main Twitter account to show creators how to use the platform’s subscriptions feature, which allows creators to offer exclusive bonus content for followers who pay a monthly fee. Twitter sleuths quickly noticed that Musk had gained a whopping 24,7000 subscribers paying $4 to his account since April 15, the day he activated subscriptions. If Musk really does take the money from his subscribers, he could bank about $1.2 million per year. It’s not clear if Musk will really cash in or if he simply turned on his subscriptions to test the feature. It’s also not clear what kind of “exclusive content” he offers.
Though strange that tens of thousands would pay for exclusive content from Twitter’s biggest billionaire troll, the more interesting reveal by far was the existence of Musk’s alt account. In the screenshot, users pointed out that the menu showed Musk was signed in to a secondary profile on Twitter, which featured a profile pic of a child holding a silver toy rocket.
DogeDesigner, one of Musk’s fervent fans, was one of those who noticed the account and tweeted out that Musk had an alt. The Twitter CEO himself appeared to confirm that he did minutes later.
“You’d never guess it’s me!” Musk tweeted in response.
However, those are dangerous words to say on Twitter, which is filled with self-proclaimed detectives and Musk fans. Within an hour of Musk publishing his original tweet with the screenshot, a Twitter user who goes by Hurt CoPain, or @SaeedDiCaprio, proclaimed that he had found Musk’s alt account, named “Elon Test” with the handle @ErmnMusk.
If @ErmnMusk is Musk’s alt Twitter account, and there is a lot of evidence to suggest that it is, it’s very weird.
As noted by Vice, @ErmnMusk was created in November 2022, or one month after Musk closed the deal to buy Twitter, which he’s said he did only because he thought a judge would force him to do it. @ErmnMusk’s profile picture appears to be a photo of X Æ A-12, Musk and Grimes’ two-year-old son more commonly known as simply “X,” when compared to the photo the Twitter CEO shared of the toddler visiting San Francisco in December.
The toddler in the photo also appears to be holding a $300 chrome model of Musk’s Starship, which can be pre-ordered on SpaceX’s website and is set to ship in the third quarter of the year. If the child is X, it stands to reason that his father would give him a $300 chrome Starship model to play with.
Another clue as to the child’s identity is in the account’s most recent tweet on Monday, which states: “I will finally turn 3 on May 4th!” Coincidentally, X will also celebrate his third birthday on May 4.
In addition, analyzing @ErmnMusk’s tweets reveals that the account tweeted about things that interest Musk, such as crypto and electric cars, albeit in a random and unhinged way. In response to a tweet sexualizing former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, FTX’s sister company, @ErmnMusk tweeted: “I 💜 librarians”.
At another point, @ErmnMusk also asked MicroStrategy CEO and bitcoin enthusiast Michael Saylor if he liked Japanese girls.
The other clues can be found in the 34 people @ErmnMusk is following, some which have a connection to Musk. @ErmnMusk is following, among others, Stephen King, the author who Musk has frequently fought over Twitter Blue with; former President Donald Trump, who Musk controversially allowed back on Twitter but who has not tweeted yet; venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, a noted Musk ally; NASA, which is Musk’s ally on space ventures; and Christopher Stanley, a former SpaceX employee who now serves as Twitter director of security engineering.
As of Tuesday morning, @ErmnMusk had more than 29,100 followers.
These two accidental revelations are huge bombs to drop amid Twitter’s never-ending drama, which most recently featured Musk forcing Twitter Blue checkmarks on horrified celebrities and @dril. While it appears to be an accidental slipup by Musk, it’s also entirely possible he dropped the info on purpose to get people to stop talking about the Twitter Blue catastrophe.
Gizmodo reached out to Twitter’s press office for comment but received the poop emoji in response.