Elon Musk tweets meme featuring Nazi imagery

The tweet came amid a series of antisemitic remarks by US celebrities, namely rapper Kanye West and NBA player Kyrie Irving. 

WHICH ELON MUSK was behind the seemingly out-of-the-blue decision to buy Twitter? (photo credit: JOE SKIPPER/REUTERS)
WHICH ELON MUSK was behind the seemingly out-of-the-blue decision to buy Twitter?
(photo credit: JOE SKIPPER/REUTERS)

Elon Musk, who became the owner of the social media platform Twitter in October, tweeted imagery of a German Nazi soldier in a meme comparing modern social media to communication methods in the early 20th century on Monday.

The tweet, featuring an image of a German soldier in what is ostensibly the WWII era, had a notification bar – similar to the one users see on Twitter – on the back of a crate used to transport carrier pigeons, which were used during both world wars as a way of carrying messages beyond enemy lines.

The tweet came amid a series of antisemitic remarks by US celebrities, namely rapper Kanye West and NBA player Kyrie Irving

“Hi Elon, not sure if you did so intentionally, but that picture is of a Nazi soldier," replied human rights lawyer and CEO of The International Legal Forum Arsen Ostrovsky, who advocates for pro-Israel and Jewish causes worldwide. "Given the relentless hate already directed at Jews on this platform, and this week marking 84 years since Kristallnacht, may I respectfully ask you to please withdraw this image.” 

 Rapper Kanye West holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/Randall Hill TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) Rapper Kanye West holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/Randall Hill TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The Elon Musk era

Twitter and its controversial new owner Elon Musk – who is the wealthiest man in the world, according to Forbes – has been no stranger to headlines since his official takeover on October 27.

Musk began his tenure as Twitter owner by firing prominent executives, such as former CEO Parag Agrawal, while they were still on-site at the Twitter facilities. He then vowed to un-block prominent accounts that had previously been banned, such as those of former US President Donald Trump and controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate.

Musk, who last week vowed to lay off roughly half of Twitter's 7500-strong workforce and ended the social media giant's work-from-home structure and eliminated “days of rest” from Twitter employee's schedules, is also revamping Twitter’s verification process and will now charge $8 per month for a new service called “Twitter Blue” – in lieu of the old system that verified accounts of public interest, such as celebrities and reporters.

Musk has also used the platform to pick public quarrels with prominent figures – such as Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – who have expressed discontent with his newest initiatives.