If you’ve logged onto Twitter today, you would have noticed Elon Musk’s latest ‘hilarious’ prank.
As you can see in this image, the Twitter icon in the app has been replaced by the Doge character, which is also the symbol for Dogecoin, the meme-based cryptocurrency that Musk has been a big supporter of in the past.
Why? No one really knows, though some have speculated that it’s an April Fool’s Day joke, just a couple days late.
For his part, Musk says that this was based on idea that was proposed to him some time back.
So is it ‘sickkk’ as Elon says?
I mean, I’m not sure that many organizations would be willing to risk diluting their brand recognition in this way, and I doubt that anyone else that had invested $44 billion into a company would consider the same. But when you’re one of the richest people in the world, money itself probably loses all meaning at some point, so I doubt that the potential negatives in this respect even factor into Elon’s thinking.
Though I do wonder about the broader impacts on the perception of Elon as both a genius and a business leader.
Musk has a heap of fans, who are always going to praise his every move. But surely, some investors, and others associated with Tesla and SpaceX, have some concerns about the erratic nature of Elon’s management style at Twitter.
Maybe, this is how he’s always run things at his other companies, and we’re just now seeing some of these off-the-cuff decisions in public - which seems potentially more problematic when applying that to self-driving cars and rockets.
Maybe, these types of hijinks are impacting his overall reputation.
Whatever – the important thing is that Elon’s entertaining himself, even as the price of the company dips by more than 50%, with revenue declining at a similar rate. This, seemingly, is the important thing.
There's no word from Twitter as to whether this is a permanent change.
UPDATE: One possible reason for the Doge icon on Twitter could be that Elon is currently facing a $258 billion racketeering lawsuit over his support for Dogecoin. The plaintiffs allege that Musk used his massive Twitter presence to artificially inflate the value of the cryptocurrency, of which Musk potentially owns up to 28% of the entire coin listing.
Some have suggested that, maybe, with the case back in the headlines this week, Musk is looking to dilute any negative coverage by flooding the zone with alternative stories related to ‘Elon’ and ‘Dogecoin’ instead.
Which seems pretty conspiratorial. But maybe. Who knows?
UPDATE: Twitter reverted back to its traditional bird logo two days later. There was no explanation provided for the change.