Friday, 19 October, 2018

British caver 'could sue' Elon Musk over Twitter attack

Business Leaders Converge In Sun Valley Idaho For Allen And Company Annual Meeting British caver 'could sue' Elon Musk over Twitter attack
Jodi Jackson | 18 July, 2018, 10:45

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk could be facing a lawsuit from the British cave diver who found and helped rescue 12 Thai schoolboys and their soccer coach who got trapped in flooded caves in the country.

Elon Musk, who regularly takes on journalists and other critics on Twitter, on Sunday tweeted a response to Mr Unsworth, without using his name but calling him a "British expat guy who lives in Thailand".

Asked if he would consider taking legal action, he told reporters: "Yes, it's not finished". "And so essentially if you attack me, it is therefore OK for me to attack back", Musk said.

The craft was never used and the tweets have since been deleted. But even though many of Musk's fans lauded his intentions, the submarine also became the butt of many jokes.

Representatives for Musk's companies Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company were not immediately available when contacted by CNBC.

In the end, it was the team of divers who saved the children through a complicated rescue mission. Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great. But the tweets spiked to about 400 per month starting in May as Musk was under pressure to raise production of the Model 3 lower-priced electric vehicle, which starts at US$35,000.

As Ohlheiser wrote, Musk soon "started a Twitter argument over how much credit he deserved for offering to help save the youths", during which argument he showed off an email of himself corresponding with one of the British divers and incidentally claimed that the Thai official in charge of the rescue had not been in charge. "The submarine, I believe, was about 5ft 6in long, rigid, so it wouldn't have gone round corners or round any obstacles". "When you're the face of the company, as Elon Musk is, that vulnerability and responsibility is only ratcheted up".

The interview spread through the weekend - until a Twitter user baited Musk into responding to it, just as he had been lured by another fan into devising his submarine.

In tweets that appear to have since been deleted, Musk said the submarine would have managed easily, as "you could literally have swum to Cave 5 with no gear".

Claus Rasmussen, a Danish national and instructor at Blue Label diving in Phuket, called the allegations "inappropriate" and praised Unsworth's role in the rescue.

Asked why he thought Musk would make such a comment about him, he said: "I don't know". Reuters could not reach Unsworth for comment.

To avoid long-term damage, "the first thing Musk needs to do is issue a huge apology", Mr Moorhead said.

Musk has for years said he is proudly, aggressively unfocused - a billionaire known for his visionary ventures in electric cars, underground supertrains, artificial intelligence and space travel.

Last month, he alleged sabotage at Tesla's operations by an employee, who responded by claiming to be a whistleblower.

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