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Musk hires controversial pro hacker to fix Twitter’s search function

I don’t think there is anything Elon Musk can do at Twitter that would now come as a surprise, but hiring his ‘frenemy’ is a start.

twitter, owned by elon musk, on phone showing blue verification checkmark

No matter where you go to source your daily dose of news, you’ve likely heard about the numerous shake-ups happening over at Twitter, especially since Elon Musk took over in October. By mid-November, Musk sent out an ultimatum to Twitter employees, causing around 5,000 employees to resign on the spot. Now it appears that Musk has turned to long-time “frenemy,” George Hotz, for help.

If you’re not already familiar with George Hotz, he is a security hacker known for developing iOS jailbreaks and reverse engineering the PlayStation 3. It was rumored that Musk wanted to hire Hotz at Tesla in 2015, but the deal ultimately fell through, with Hotz going on record to state that Musk “kept changing the terms” of his contract. Since then, George Hotz, just 33 years old, has founded Comma.ai, which aims to provide a Tesla-like autopilot feature to around 200 other vehicles for $1,999.

If you’re wondering how this move makes sense, Hotz has said that his work with Comma.ai is on hold for the moment. Hotz also shared with TechCrunch that he is “good at things when it’s wartime,” which seems very fitting given the current climate over at Twitter. It appears as though Hotz was the one to kick-start the conversation with Musk regarding joining the Twitter team, tweeting his support for the ultimatum and offering to come aboard “for a 12-week internship at Twitter for the cost of living in SF.” Musk responded publicly, “Sure, let’s talk.” It’s clear that Hotz has a brilliant mind for tech and problem solving, even going as far as to tweet that he’ll be working to fix Twitter’s search feature and remove non-dismissable pop-ups while browsing Twitter without a login. While the move may seem controversial on the surface, Hotz seems eager to dig deep into Twitter to improve the social media network functionality and user experience.

As for what’s next at Twitter, only time will tell. Elon Musk has said that he is now actively recruiting for engineering and sales roles while encouraging employees to make referrals. It’s yet to be seen how this process will be carried out, especially given the fact that Twitter’s entire public relations team has been dissolved, but George Hotz has already reached out to Andrej Karpathy, former director of AI at Tesla, to see if he’d like to come aboard and help.

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We’ll be keeping a close eye on the changes being made over at Twitter. You can follow us on Twitter @AGBizWire.

Jennifer is a native Houstonian (go Astros!) with a knack for creating digital works of art. She has expansive experience creating content and branded collateral for Fortune 500 companies, as well as small local businesses. When she’s not buried in her laptop, Jennifer is the marketing director for a world championship circuit barbecue cook off team and pet mom to dog (Milo) and Guinea pig (Piggy Smalls).

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