DID ELON MUSK COMMIT LIBEL?

July 16th, 2018 | by Dylan James Harper

When the last Thai boy and his soccer coach were finally freed from the cave in which they had been trapped for weeks, most of the world let out a collective sigh of relief. It was such a nice moment in what has otherwise been a hellish and cruel timeline; who could feel anything but relief? Apparently Elon Musk.

 

Yes, it seems in-between launching a car into space, and laying off Tesla employees, Elon has found ample time to be online and defend his doomed-from-the-start attempt at building a submarine to rescue the Thai youth soccer team. The submarine in question, which was never utilized by the rescue team, has been the subject of much scrutiny since its inception. Many viewed it as a pointless, even dangerous publicity stunt; others, including those who were a bit more charitable and considered it a genuine attempt at a good deed, cited that, well meaning or not, it had little chance at success, given the difficulties of underwater cave diving. Elon did not take those criticisms well.

 

Instead, the Tesla founder and notable seller of overpriced flamethrowers, found the need to respond to several of his critics, lashing out to the point of insinuating, then outright stating, that one of the British rescue divers (the one who had experience with the cave and was able to quickly help pinpoint the soccer team’s location) was a pedophile.

 

What was Elon basing this horrific accusation on? The fact that he was British and in Thailand of course! And while sex trafficking and tourism is a huge deal in Thailand, it’s also a huge deal in the rest of the world, and you could just as easily make that inference based on someone going to the World Cup, or Super Bowl. It’s a baseless claim, obviously, but could it actually be enough to land the billionaire in hot legal water?

 

Absolutely. It is one-hundred percent actionable. Proving damages would be another story, but he’d certainly be liable. To prove damages, Vernon Unsworth, the rescue diver Elon brazenly called a “pedo” on Twitter to his millions of followers, would have to demonstrate, among other things, that people actually believe Musk’s statement as “a factual allegation from Musk, and not mere opinion or hyperbole. But who could believe such a ridiculous statement? Apparently hundreds of weird nerds.

 

In what should be a shocking twist, but painfully is not, seemingly hundreds, if not thousands, of Musk worshippers took to their keyboards to defend their surrogate father figure’s rash statements. The defenses ranged from echoing the outright assertion that the diver is a pedophile, to assuring readers that Musk meant “pedo” in the classical Greek sense, not like in the pedophile way. Regardless, it was clear some people seemed to read this as Musk stating his statement as a legitimate accusation.

 

What will become of Musk? Will he be sued into oblivion by Unsworth (who would become even more of a hero if successful)? Or will he simply escape consequence as he did when the rescue team in Thailand elected not to use his submarine that easily could have resulted in the death of the children? Will this be enough for Grimes to finally leave him? Will he blame unions? We likely won’t have to wait long to see the end to this extremely online tale.

Dylan James Harper is the Political Editor for CSUITEMUSIC.com
Read more from Dylan at http://www.dylanjamesharper.com

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