Skip to content

Musk-Zuckerberg Feud Escalates With Bizarre Challenges

Tesla and Meta leaders exchange insults and propose unconventional contests, raising concerns for their businesses.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and Meta Platform Inc’s (NASDAQ:META) founder Mark Zuckerberg added a new and somewhat bizarre dimension to their long-standing rivalry.

This photo illustration created in Washington, DC, on July 6, 2023, shows the opening page of Threads, an Instagram app, reflected in an image of Elon Musk. Twitter threatened to sue Meta just hours after the Instagram parent company launched Threads, an app it hopes will beat out the struggling site owned by Elon Musk. In a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, published by online news outlet Semafor on July 6, 2023, Musk lawyer Alex Spiro accused the company of “unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.” (STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images) 

On Sunday, Musk resorted to an unorthodox and controversial insult, calling Zuckerberg a “cuck” on Twitter, the social media platform he owns.

The unfolding drama caught the attention of users when the official Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN) account on Meta’s Twitter rival, Threads, humorously suggested that Zuckerberg should “go to space” to make Musk angry — an apparent dig at Musk’s space tourism aspirations and ownership of SpaceX.

Zuckerberg’s response, a crying laughing emoji, sparked an unexpected reaction from Musk who escalated the feud by proposing a literal “di** measuring contest,” complete with a ruler emoji.

While the unusual nature of the feud is taking the spotlight, it’s worth noting the backdrop against the drama.

Musk and Zuckerberg have been publicly clashing for over six years, with disagreements ranging from artificial intelligence to rocket explosions. Their animosity became public in 2016, when a SpaceX rocket explosion destroyed a Facebook satellite, and has only escalated since.

Their recent public challenge to a physical cage match is the latest manifestation of the rivalry.

Musk’s comments and Zuckerberg’s responses provoked mixed reactions online. Some Twitter users laud Musk for championing free speech, while others express frustration with what they perceive as an unseemly spectacle.

Business Insider captured the sentiments of many by pleading, “Someone, please, make it stop.”

Despite the concerns of onlookers and the occasional intervention of peacemakers like Musk’s mother, Maye Musk, the tech titans show no signs of toning down their rivalry. While it’s currently unknown whether the proposed contests — physical or otherwise — will come to fruition, the exchange highlights the increasingly personal nature of the feud.

The stakes are high for both Musk and Zuckerberg. As leaders of some of the world’s most influential tech companies, their public clashes could have implications for their businesses and reputations.

The ongoing feud also adds to the narrative about the increasing tension among tech industry leaders.

Will there be a cage match, or even a less traditional contest as Musk suggested? And how will it impact their respective businesses?

Some outlets, including The Street, suggested their stocks in their respective companies could take a hit.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Joseph Hammond

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners