Twitter has added a fact check to a viral claim that suggests the social media platform may owe a $US100 million payout to a disabled Icelandic entrepreneur who was fired and then rehired after a public dispute with Elon Musk.

According to the Community Note, while Twitter may owe the former employee for the acquisition of his company, the $100 million figure is misleading as it is based on assumptions rather than facts regarding the purchase price.

The viral claim originated from William LeGate, a programmer and entrepreneur, who later admitted that he had made an “educated guess” and had no evidence to support the claim.

In the original tweet that has been viewed almost eight million times, William LeGate claimed that the disabled Twitter employee whom Elon Musk publicly ridiculed had sold his company to Twitter for approximately $100 million.

LeGate further stated that the deal was structured in a way that required payment for the entire deal upon termination.

When asked where he got the $100 million figure from, LeGate admitted that it was an educated guess based on typical acquisition prices in the engineering field, which are priced at around $1 million per head.

However, other Twitter users criticized LeGate for making up the figure without any evidence to support it.

In fact, one user pointed out that Twitter’s public filings indicate that the acquisition price was less than $8.5 million.


Recently, Elon Musk issued a public apology to Haraldur “Halli” Thorleifsson, a disabled Icelandic entrepreneur who was publicly ridiculed by Musk on Twitter.

This followed an exchange between the two after Mr. Thorleifsson publicly asked Musk if he had been terminated, along with around 200 other employees, when his computer access was revoked in late February.

During the exchange, Musk accused Mr. Thorleifsson of using his disability as an excuse to avoid typing while tweeting extensively.

Mr. Thorleifsson, who has muscular dystrophy, a condition that causes progressive weakness of the muscles, responded in a viral thread explaining that his disability had progressed to the point where he could not engage in manual work for extended periods of time without his hands cramping.

The public exchange between the two was described by one Twitter user as “the most entertaining exit interview I’ve ever witnessed.”

In response to Mr. Thorleifsson’s tweet about his termination, Musk publicly accused him of using his disability as an excuse to avoid typing while tweeting extensively.

Mr. Thorleifsson responded by explaining that his condition had progressed to the point where he could not work as a hands-on designer for extended periods without his hands cramping.

He also stated that he had informed HR about his situation. Musk then announced that he would call Mr. Thorleifsson directly to “figure out what’s real vs. what [he] was told,” and subsequently deleted several tweets.

Musk eventually apologized for his misunderstanding of Mr. Thorleifsson’s situation and admitted that he was given untrue information. He also expressed his desire for Mr. Thorleifsson to remain at Twitter but did not comment on whether he would stay.

In other news, I’m opening a restaurant in downtown Reykjavik very soon.

It’s named after my mom. Like many mom’s she was the best mom in the world.

Kind, funny, hard working and a wonderful artist. And cool, oh boy was she cool.

See you soon at @AnnaJona

— Halli (@iamharaldur) March 7, 2023

Mr. Thorleifsson held the position of senior director in product design at Twitter, having been employed after his design agency Ueno was sold to the company in early 2021.

He chose to receive his payout in wages rather than a lump sum or stocks, in order to maximize the amount of tax paid to Icelandic authorities.

Mr. Thorleifsson has been recognized as Iceland’s Person of the Year by multiple media outlets and has spoken publicly about the benefits he has received from the Icelandic social system.

Some online speculation has suggested that Musk’s public apology may have been prompted by Twitter’s potential liability for a significant financial penalty if Mr. Thorleifsson were to be terminated.


Haraldur “Halli” Thorleifsson was a senior director in product design at Twitter, having sold his design agency Ueno to the company in early 2021.

It was reported that he was on a “do not fire” list because it would be too costly for Twitter to do so, and there has been speculation that the company may face a financial penalty if it were to let him go.

Mr Thorleifsson suffers from muscular dystrophy, and he explained that he sold his company to set up his family for when he would no longer be able to work.

He expressed concern that Elon Musk may not honor the contract he signed with Twitter, and that this could affect his retirement fund.

Since Musk took control of the company, nearly three quarters of Twitter’s workforce has been sacked, leaving just over 2000 employees.