Elon Musk hires PS3 Hacker to work on Twitter

Elon Musk hires PS3 Hacker to work on Twitter

Elon Musk hires prominent iOS jailbreaker and PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz, aka geohot, for an unpaid internship at Twitter.


Twitter has apparently hired iOS jailbreaker and PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz, aka geohot, for an unpaid internship. Elon Musk has controversially caused thousands of departures from Twitter since taking ownership of the social media company. It may not be surprising that the billionaire is looking to fill roles at the company with unpaid internships, but Hotz joining Twitter after years of conflict with Musk is surprising, to say the least.

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For reference, Hotz founded a company called comma.ai in 2015 that focused on artificial intelligence for use in automated driving. Hotz went on to sell his company to Musk’s Tesla Motors, and even said that Musk offered him $12 million to develop something better than Tesla’s Autopilot. Musk eventually took to Twitter and was dismissive of Hotz’s efforts. An agreement between the two was never concluded.

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Musk apparently warmed to Hotz when the hacker described the billionaire cleaning house on Twitter as “the attitude that builds incredible things.” One reply mocked Hotz’s post, saying that more workers should be willing to serve as indentured servants. Hotz responded by saying he had “put his money where my mouth is” and would accept a 12-week internship at Twitter just for living expenses in San Francisco. Confirmation that Elon Musk took Hotz up on his offer and that the hacker had taken a role at Twitter to work on the social media search feature has since been shared.

Unsurprisingly, Hotz has already sparked some controversy about his new role by asking if any other programmers would like an internship to help him with his Twitter work. He says coders should only do it “if you think it’s fun” and admits he doesn’t know anything about Twitter hiring. Twitter users accused Hotz of seeking “free work” and rejecting what he said he would do for free himself. Hotz’s response is that he’s just “here to learn and improve things” and that he’s confident that those who send him code “will go the longest in their lives.”

Needless to say, it’s a pretty impressive contrast between the Hotz who once worked to jailbreak iOS devices and hack PlayStation 3s who now does an unpaid internship for Twitter, asking others to do the same. Furthermore, Hotz’s focus on search functionality for all things seems at odds with his initial statement about building “amazing things.” Many continue to question what Hotz is doing and why, as Hotz has said on Twitter, “Great coders do what they feel.”

Elon Musk’s ability to attract strong personalities to his businesses continues to be a strange phenomenon. As thousands of software engineers and other Twitter employees willingly accepted Musk’s offer to leave the company with months of notice, others like Hotz are seeking opportunities to work with Musk at Twitter even if it means not getting paid. About Twitter will come out the better because it remains to be seen.

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