On Friday morning, Elon Musk cryptically tweeted, “And soon, ladies & gentlemen, the coup de grâce,” following his suspension of several journalists who have been critical of him.
The French term is defined as “a final blow or shot given to kill a wounded person or animal,” or “an action or event that serves as the culmination of a bad or deteriorating situation.”
Twitter users speculation about what Musk means by that could ran from “letting everyone know how right President Trump was,” to “making [Twitter] Spaces work again,” to pulling the plug on the entire platform.
On Thursday, Musk shut down a Twitter Space conversation with several journalists in midchat.
Several people shared graphs of Tesla’s tumbling stock: This week, Musk sold $3.6 billion in Tesla shares as advertisers continued to flee the increasingly volatile platform.
On Friday, Musk had not yet reinstated accounts for Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, independent journalist Aaron Rupar, Donie O’Sullivan from CNN, Ryan Mac of the New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan from CNN, Matt Binder from Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, and media pundit Keith Olbermann.
The account for Ben Collins, whose job description is “covers disinformation, extremism and the internet for NBC News,” and who has been one of Musk’s most vocal critics, remains active.
After Twitter users responding to a Musk poll favored their immediate reinstatement, he claimed the poll was flawed and ran several more polls to get the desired response.
Musk is fond of using foreign-language phrases on Twitter. He has repeatedly used “vox populi, vox dei” — Latin for “the voice of the people (is) the voice of God” — in response to Twitter users voting for him to bring Trump back on the platform, which he did on Nov. 19.
Meanwhile, BBC contributor Matthew Sweet suggested that Musk meant to use a different French phrase. “O God this is a malapropism innit [isn’t it?]. He means piece de resistance,” he tweeted. Pièce de résistance is defined as “the most noteworthy or prized feature, aspect, event, or article of a series or group,” the cherry on top that makes a good thing better, if you will.