Two billionaire tech titans facing each other off in a literal cage match sounds like an Onion article you would have read 5 years ago – but we’re in a timeline where it’s real news.
Elon Musk, Twitter CEO and the mind behind SpaceX, and Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg, have long been influential figures in the tech industry. However, their rivalry has been simmering beneath the surface for years, characterised by jabs and disagreements in the public sphere. Now, the time has come for them to settle their differences, once and for all, inside the confines of a cage.
It all started on Tuesday when Musk replied to a tweet about the news that Facebook might be developing a Twitter competitor.
After another Twitter user urged Musk to be careful of Zuckerberg and his Jiu-Jitsu skills – Musk replied, “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol,”.
I’m up for a cage match if he is lol
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 21, 2023
Zuckerberg reportedly posted a screenshot of the tweet on his Instagram stories, writing “Send me location” which made the entire exchange seem less like a joke.
Are the two billionaires actually going to fight? It wouldn’t exactly be the wildest thing to happen this year – but it’s sure up there on the list. The internet, as always, has a lot to say about that.
The two industry titans seem very serious about their face-off so far – and while the situation provides for a whole lot of internet memes, if it actually happens it would seem very dystopian. Musk and Zuckerberg are at the forefront of the tech world, which is facing hundreds of layoffs every day. The tech industry is reeling from the combination of a rough economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and some obvious business missteps – amplified by the Silicon Valley bank collapse. More than 148,312 workers at U.S.-based tech companies have been laid off in mass job cuts so far in 2023 as of June.
In India, too, as many as 4,986 people in the tech industry lost their jobs in FY24. Many economists believe we are on the verge of worldwide recession and the majority of the Community of Chief Economists at the World Economic Forum predict that geopolitics will continue to influence the world economy and with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, matters will only get worse, with severe impact on the US and Europe. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have previously advised economies to prepare for a slowdown in the pace of growth.
Given Musk’s volatile nature, it wouldn’t be surprising if he has actually taken this cage match too seriously. While the entire tech world is spiralling, the two CEOs joking around about facing off in a Las Vegas octagon doesn’t sit right with many.