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This is an archived Portuguese-language version of SpaceX’s Facebook page, which has been deleted. (SpaceX / Facebook via

Facebook suffered another blow today: Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, had those two companies’ official pages removed from the embattled social network.

Musk’s action came after it was pointed out to him on Twitter that SpaceX actually had an official Facebook page. “I didn’t realize there was one,” he tweeted.

The context for Musk’s wild and woolly tweetstorm is the controversy over Facebook’s handling of personal data from users. A series of reports found that the information was mishandled, and ended up being used inappropriately to micro-target voters in the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for what he said “was clearly a mistake.” Nevertheless, critics have pushed forward with a #DeleteFacebook campaign. That’s what drew Musk into the fray. Here’s how the debate over the issues (including a joking reference to “The Princess Bride” and the fact that Musk remains active on Instagram, a Facebook subsidiary) went down on Twitter:

This isn’t the first time Musk and Zuckerberg have locked horns. As noted above, a launch-pad explosion in September 2016 destroyed a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as well as an Israeli satellite that was supposed to help Facebook provide internet access across a wide swath of Africa.

Just after the blast, Zuckerberg said he was “deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite.”

Last year, the two billionaires got into a tiff over whether the rapid rise of artificial intelligence will turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing.

At the National Governors Association’s summer meeting, Musk complained that policymakers and tech leaders weren’t taking the AI threat seriously. “Until people see robots going down the street, killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal,” Musk said.

Zuckerberg bristled over those comments. Days later, during a Facebook Live video session, he said such AI doomsday predictions were “pretty irresponsible.”

It didn’t take long for Musk to fire back. “I’ve talked to Mark about this,” he tweeted. “His understanding of the subject is limited.”

In light of all that history, Musk’s claim that he didn’t even know his companies had Facebook pages — followed by the immediate deletion of those pages, followed by the remark that he doesn’t even care about Facebook — looks like the ultimate geek putdown. Your move, Mr. Zuckerberg.

Update for 1 p.m. PT March 23: Indivigital notes that Tesla’s Facebook page had about 2.6 million likes, and that it put up 120 posts over the past year. Its top post during that time frame (about the Model 3 electric car) generated 76,705 total interactions.

SpaceX’s Facebook page also had 2.6 million likes. In comparison, United Launch Alliance’s Facebook page has about 112,000 likes, while NASA and BMW have 20 million likes each.

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