Elon Musk, Twitter and Ukraine: What’s the connection?

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Twitter @elonmusk

Billionaire Elon Musk posts his proposal for Ukraine-Russia Peace.

Kushi Maridu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As one of the richest people in the world and the winner of Time Magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year award, Elon Musk is one of the most influential figures on social media. However, Musk has recently become tangled up in controversies on the digital world and the real world.

Musk bears a lot of responsibility to maintain two big corporations as the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. In addition to those massive jobs, Musk keeps his 110 million followers entertained and updated on Twitter.

Musk and Twitter bear a funny relationship. 

Last year, he shifted stock markets and cryptocurrencies with a push of a button. In Jan. 2021, Musk tweeted “Gamestonk!!”and  GameStop’s stock price boosted up 50%. And in June 2021, Musk tweeted “#Bitcoin” with a broken heart emoji, and Bitcoin dropped more than 7%.

This April, he offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion to make a platform for purely “free speech.” Twitter has accepted this deal and, despite a rocky negotiation,  it is on track to close by the end of October.

In addition to buying Twitter, Musk uses it often to post comments and plans that are often met with controversy. 

Every time he posts on Twitter, there are three kinds of people fill the comments: 

  1. The Musk worshippers; these commenters view Musk as god and comment thanking him for all the good he’s been doing. 
  2. The Musk haters; these commenters always criticize Musk’s ways and comment about how bad of a person Musk is and how he can help the world get better in unrealistic ways.
  3. The memers; these commenters post silly memes matching the quirkiness of Musk’s own silliness.

Recently, Musk posted a meme of Abraham Lincoln saying, “The problem with quotes found on the internet is that they are often not true,” with Musk captioning, “So true.” 

In another instance, Musk proposed a crossover between popular films “Boss Baby” and “Das Boot,” titled “Das Baby.”

PV alum Mitchell Wood follows Musk on Twitter and holds mixed opinions about Musk’s Tweets. “Musk’s unfiltered voice is a double edged sword. While relatability with the richest man in the world may seem far-fetched, I and many view Musk as a regular guy who likes memes and video games and happens to run a few multimillion dollar companies. With that being said, many can also view Musk as immature or unprofessional for his honesty and no filter to his millions of followers,” Wood shared.

At the beginning of October, Musk started Tweeting about his role in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

In his Tweet, Musk proposed a peace plan in his Tweet for Russia and Ukraine. This plan involves redoing regional elections under UN supervision, resolving problems with Crimea and Ukraine and Ukraine staying neutral by not joining NATO.

Although most people took this seriously, some believed Musk posed as Putin’s messenger and Musk’s beliefs were really Putin’s terms to end the war. Ukrainian officials also criticized his proposal for his assumptions regarding the Crimea situation. Musk denied these claims and said he came up with them independently.

The SpaceX CEO donated 20,000 Starlink terminals worth more than $100 million to Ukraine for war relief and support, but felt it wasn’t right for him to bankroll the whole donation. After a while, he requested the Pentagon to cover some costs too, claiming he could not continue supporting Ukraine with his funds of $20 million a month if the US wasn’t backing him up. He quickly took back his request from the Pentagon

Starlink already proved pivotal to the Ukrainians throughout the war. It helped Ukraine stay connected and report the harsh conditions caused by Russia to the world after Russia destroyed most of its internet infrastructure.

Musk’s claim that he will continue his support in Ukraine is vital, providing the Ukranians with a crucial connection that might help the war to an end.

With Musk providing support to Ukraine and the deal with Twitter expecting to close by the end of October, Musk will continue to stay uniquely relevant.