Elon Musk is not taking criticism of his submersible that was designed with the hopes of saving the Thai schoolboy football team and their coach from a flooded cave. It’s never been much of a secret that Musk regularly defends his projects on social media and answers questions regarding them, but he usually doesn’t snap like he did this morning when he not only went on the defensive, he went on offense and he went for the jugular. So far, his attack on British diver Vern Unsworth, who was cited as being instrumental in the rescue, is not winning hearts and minds.
Unsworth had stated that he felt Musk’s submersible had no chance of ever working for that specific rescue because it was too big and rigid for the caverns, and as can be seen at a column on the Inquisitr. Thai officials involved in the rescue agreed with him as reported by The Independent. It was a consensus that although it was a fine submarine, it wasn’t suitable for the job at hand, and by the time it arrived on the scene, it wasn’t even necessary. Unsworth had also stated in a column on Mediate, that he felt it was a publicity stunt for Musk because he had to know it wouldn’t work.
That was enough for Musk to throw a Twitter tantrum, in which he not only questioned Unsworth’s knowledge, he said he never even saw Unsworth in the cave, implying he wasn’t really all that important to the rescue. But that wasn’t enough, he then called Unsworth, “Pedo guy,” and that is where he might be getting himself in serious trouble.
Some have pointed out that Musk may have been correct in his statement the water was very low, and that is how the kids got all the way to cavern 5. But what he isn’t accounting for is that it rained and the water levels rose which is why they needed people to pump water out in the first place. Secondly, almost everyone is in agreement that he went way overboard with the remark accusing Unsworth of being a pedophile just because he doesn’t like what the man said, as can be seen in the replies to his tweet.
It would seem by the outrage, still pouring in hours after Musk’s Twitter tantrum, that any good publicity Musk did get for his submersible, intended or otherwise, is all but lost now. Musk has left himself in a legally actionable position with his statement. According to Buzzfeed and Business Insider, Musk doubled down on his “pedo guy” remark on Twitter when answering replies to his statement.
Instead of deleting his tweet, walking back his accusation, or apologizing, Musk is thus far owning his statement, and using it to advertise an ETH and BTC giveaway lower in the thread, seemingly oblivious to the negative comments swirling around him. Buzzfeed reported Musk’s representatives could not be reached for a statement. As of this writing, Musk is still putting out new tweets in response to some of his critics.