- Elon Musk polled his Twitter followers on whether they distrusted billionaires or politicians more.
- He then asked AOC to do the same: “I dare you to run the same poll with your followers.”
- Musk and AOC have previously clashed on topics such as unionization and free speech.
On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk dared Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to poll her Twitter followers on whether they distrusted billionaires or politicians more.
“Who do you trust less? Real question,” he tweeted, presenting a Twitter poll that offered “politicians” and “billionaires” as the only two options.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2022
He then directly tweeted at Ocasio-Cortez: “@aoc I dare you to run the same poll with your followers.” At press time, Ocasio-Cortez had not responded.
In less than two hours, Musk’s poll received more than 970,000 votes, with many saying that they trusted politicians less.
But as one Twitter user pointed out, the poll had an “echo chamber” effect, noting that Musk’s followers would say that they distrust politicians more. At the same time, Ocasio-Cortez’s would be more skeptical of tycoons.
“I’d guess that the result would be the opposite given the mindset of those likely to be following her social media account,” the user commented, tagging Musk and Ocasio-Cortez.
Musk has drawn criticism from some progressives following his plans to loosen Twitter’s content moderation policies once he closes his $44 billion deal to take the company private. Critics fear that his plans will exacerbate hate speech and disinformation on the site.
Friday’s tweet is the latest in a series of clashes between Musk and Ocasio-Cortez.
The New York rep. told Bloomberg on Tuesday that she would exchange her Tesla for another electric vehicle manufactured by unionized workers. “I would love to switch,” she said.
Musk is a vocal opponent of unions. In March, the Tesla CEO invited the United Auto Workers union (UAW) to hold a union vote at the company but suggested the UAW’s efforts would fail. “Our real challenge is Bay Area has negative unemployment, so if we don’t treat and compensate our (awesome) people well, they have many other offers and will just leave!” Musk tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez has also lashed out at tech billionaires for their outsized control over social media platforms. “Tired of having to collectively stress about what explosion of hate crimes is happening bc some billionaire with an ego problem unilaterally controls a massive communication platform,” she tweeted last month.
When Musk responded with “Stop hitting on me, I’m really shy,” Ocasio-Cortez clarified that she had been referring to Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
“Like I said, ego problems,” she tweeted.
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 30, 2022
In recent weeks, Musk, who said in the past he’d voted Democrat, revealed that he would vote Republican in the next election because he disagreed with Democrats’ views on restricting free speech. Musk did not clarify if he was talking about the midterms later this year or the presidential election in 2024.
Musk and Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comments.