Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk’s 18-year spat – blue balls to billionaire space race

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have clashed once again as Tesla boffin Musk has agreed to buy Twitter for around £35 billion.

The mega-money deal will likely increase Musk's already massive net worth, which allows him to keep the title of the richest man on Earth.

According to Forbes, Musk's net worth of £210bil far surpasses Bezos' light £134bil.

Their feud comes from their pursuit of space travel, but more swipes have been taken by Bezos after Musk's purchase and the Amazon founder this time questioned if his rival's new hold on the social media giant would cause problems like increasing the influence of China.

Other people are also concerned about a return to the platform for former US president Donald Trump, who was banned in January 2021 over fears he could further incite violence after his supporters stormed the US Capitol building in a bloody insurgence.

Musk said: "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans."

What did Jeff Bezos say about Elon Musk after he bought Twitter?

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Jeff Bezos briefly cast doubts on Musk's purchase of Twitter over concerns about the influence of China on the platform.

States like China, Russia and Iran, among others, have been known to target social media sites to influence the views of the people on there, using bots to peddle false information.

Bezos responded to a New York Times reporter and asked: "Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?"

China is well-known for censoring its own people and has been accused of genocide against citizens living there. Musk's Tesla operation has a huge business interest in the country ruled by an authoritarian communist party.

The theory is that with Musk's huge fortune coming from Tesla shares, attempts to limit the lies of states like China will become more difficult due to how much money is at stake for the car giant.

Bezos also said: "My own answer to this question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter."

He added: "But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity."

How did Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos' feud start?

The rivalry and feud between Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk is said to date back all the way to 2004, when the two met for lunch to discuss space travel.

According to Christian Davenport's book The Space Barons, Musk said: "I actually did my best to give good advice, which he largely ignored."

Since, the two have gone head-to-head in a quest for space travel, with Bezos' Blue Origin up against the rocket thrusters of SpaceX.

2013 NASA argument

An argument erupted in 2013 when Musk's SpaceX attempted to secure itself exclusive access to NASA's rocket launchpad.

An annoyed Blue Origin protested to the US government and attempted to stop SpaceX from having control of it.

Musk hit out at Blue Origin's space programme and its lack of success at the time, suggesting that SpaceX would "gladly accommodate their needs" if their nemesis could come up with better products for NASA to use.

Musk said: "Frankly, I think we are more likely to discover unicorns dancing in the flame duct."

Jeff Bezos' "blue balls"

The race to the moon – dubbed the billionaire space race – is another area where Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have rubbed up against each other.

Musk once poked fun when Blue Origin shared their plans for a vehicle that could put people on the moon.

Shaped like a ball, it had the Blue Origin logo on the side, leading Musk to quip: "Putting the word 'Blue' on a ball is questionable branding."

He then tweeted a picture of Bezos next to the vehicle with the words changed to read "blue balls" and captioned the photo: "Oh stop teasing Jeff."

Balls aside, the two companies have clashed over the moon in recent times when NASA agreed to hand SpaceX a contract for landing a manned spacecraft on the moon for the first time in over 50 years. Blue Origin protested unsuccessfully.

It isn't the only time the male anatomy has become part of the billionaire argument and, with phallic-shaped rockets blasting off to space a big part of their projects, this isn't surprising.

Musk said that Blue Origin had trouble with their rocket, joking: "Can't get it up (to orbit) lol."

Who was the first to go to space out of Jef Bezos and Elon Musk?

Jeff Bezos beat Elon Musk to space, shooting up to the top of the atmosphere in May 2020.

Bezos said: "I want to go on this flight because it's a thing I wanted to do all my life. It's an adventure — it's a big deal for me."

Once again, Musk resorted to memes to make fun of his old rival and it was around the same time the two began swapping the titles of the richest person on Earth.

With Musk now firmly in the lead, he has used Twitter to send silver medal emojis and told Fobes he planned to send a statue of the number two to Bezos.

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