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Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has caused a stir on social media by replying to news reporters with a poop emoji. The incident happened after Musk's appearance on a podcast hosted by Joe Rogan, in which he talked about a range of topics, including his recent donation of $100 million to carbon capture technology.
Several news outlets covered Musk's donation, which he announced on Twitter on January 21, 2022, as a way to "accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies." However, some reporters criticized the donation as a PR stunt and questioned its effectiveness in addressing the root causes of climate change.
One of the reporters who raised doubts about Musk's donation was Emily Atkin, a climate journalist and founder of the Heated newsletter. Atkin tweeted on January 23, 2022, that Musk's donation was "a PR stunt, not a solution," and that "carbon capture is a false solution that distracts from real emissions cuts."
In response, Musk replied with a poop emoji, which quickly went viral and sparked a heated debate on Twitter. Some of Musk's supporters praised him for his witty and irreverent style, while others criticized him for his lack of respect for journalists and his dismissive attitude towards climate change.
Atkin, who has been a vocal critic of Musk's climate policies, responded to Musk's emoji with a tweet that said: "Ah, the maturity level of a 12-year-old boy. How about addressing the substance of my criticism, Elon?"
Musk did not respond further to Atkin's tweet, but his poop emoji became a meme and a symbol of his brash persona on social media. Some users even created t-shirts and stickers with the poop emoji and Musk's name, which they sold online.
The incident highlighted the tension between Musk's role as a tech celebrity and his responsibilities as a corporate leader and a public figure. While Musk has been praised for his innovative ideas and bold ambitions, he has also been criticized for his controversial tweets, his clashes with regulators, and his mixed record on environmental issues. Whether his use of a poop emoji will harm or help his reputation remains to be seen, but it certainly got people talking.
Musk continues to use the Poop Emoji to reply to critics, most notably, reporters in the mainstream media.
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