Monday saw a number of hashtags including #ElonMuskIsATraitor trend in Ukraine and around the world, after he mocked President Zelensky and the plight of the country’s people in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion and the uncertainty around continuing US aid to Kyiv.
Kyiv reacted angrily to the post, with presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak, saying: “Any silence or irony towards Ukraine today is a direct encouragement of Russian propaganda that justifies mass violence and destruction.”
Musk did not address the issue directly but a few hours later posted a meme appearing to suggest the media was to blame for the backlash.
Dogs rock pic.twitter.com/lUe4M7Tzjr— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 2, 2023
A recent report found “X” has the highest rates of disinformation and fake news of all the large social media platforms.
Musk spent the evening responding to a number of tweets including one from the leader of a far-right British party who complained he wasn’t getting enough reach for his tweets since subscribing to the “X” platform.
Will investigate— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 2, 2023
Musk also had time to reply to a tweet from US statistician Nate Silver who had commented on the amount of disinformation online about a number of issues such as Ukraine, immigration and coronavirus vaccines.
It is not clear if Musk – who has posted about all three topics in recent days – was being sarcastic in his response.
True— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 3, 2023
What is clear is that Musk ignored all responses from Ukrainians outraged over his recent comments.
Some of the more notable responses include a plea from Mariana Betsa, Ambassador of Ukraine to Estonia:
Maksym Borodin, a former resident of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol which Russian forces reduced to rubble with the loss of tens of thousands of lives:
It was so funny that I forgot for a second that the Russians destroyed my Mariupol into dust, killed about 50,000 residents there and made 300,000 residents homeless refugees... pic.twitter.com/N4O3R9ek2U— Maksym Borodin (@adnashmyash) October 2, 2023
And Tymofiy Mylovanov, President of the Kyiv School of Economics, who asked him:
As a Ukrainian citizen and a US legal person, I am outraged— Tymofiy Mylovanov (@Mylovanov) October 2, 2023
Elon Musk mocks the Ukrainian president asking for help to fight off Russians murdering Ukrainians
I wonder if Musk would find asking for help funny if his country was invaded and his friends and relatives killed pic.twitter.com/Z70r0rCmez
Musk’s controversial comments about Ukraine and Russia’s full-scale invasion have become a regular feature in recent weeks. Over the weekend he appeared to conflate the situation on Ukraine’s international border with that of the US.
In a post on “X”, he asked: “Why do so many American politicians from both parties care 100 times more about the Ukraine border than the USA border?”
Why do so many American politicians from both parties care 100 times more about the Ukraine border than the USA border?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 29, 2023
At the US border, thousands of largely peaceful migrants are crossing in the hopes of claiming asylum in the US.
At the Ukrainian border, tens of thousands of Russian troops have crossed hoping to illegally annex an entire country in what one Moscow general has described as a “stepping stone” to a wider invasion of Europe.
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