Elon Musk has been having a bit of a time of it on Twitter of late. As one tweet (which Musk's own mother-in-law liked) put it: "Elon Musk’s Twitter presence in the last few months feels very Kanye 2018."
Fresh from winning a defamation lawsuit last year after he inexplicably called a British cave explorer involved in the tense rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach trapped in an underground cave system a "pedo guy", Musk has continued to use his Twitter presence for chaotic evil this year. Where many people at the top of successful companies use their platform for updates or else just a bit of fun, earlier this month the Tesla and SpaceX CEO wiped $14bn off Tesla's value after tweeting "Tesla stock price too high imo".
He also caused controversy by casually dismissing worries over Covid-19, claiming "the coronavirus panic is dumb", and demanding "Free America now!" amid suggestions of easing lockdown measures in the US against medical experts' advice, before tweeting a whole bunch of other things that are not going to age well, such as the below.
He also corrected a typo in his partner Grimes' explanation of their newborn baby's name, while she recovered from surgery.
That may well turn out to be a high point to this month though, after he went so far his own mother-in-law slammed him on Twitter, liking certain posts that expressed annoyance at him.
The tweet that did it was one that seems innocuous enough at first glance, telling people to "Take the red pill".
Taking the red pill refers to a scene in the film The Matrix where Morpheus offers the protagonist Neo two pills, the red one waking him up to reality, the blue allowing him to remain in blissful ignorance. Taking the "red pill", and the idea of waking up to reality, has since been appropriated by online misogynists, men's rights activists (MRA), and the "alt-right". The "red pill" subreddit, for instance, is a place where men gather to be quite misogynistic indeed.
As you'd expect, when Musk tweeted the ambiguous statement, and members of the Trump family endorsed the message, people were less than enthusiastic about his possible meaning. The Matrix co-director Lilly Wachowski unambiguously made her feelings on the matter incredibly clear.
One critic he probably wasn't expecting was his mother-in-law. Initially, she wrote:
"If your partner went through a challenging pregnancy and childbirth in the last two weeks... And you were over 16 years old, would you be blaring MRA bullshit on Twitter right now?" She has since deleted the tweet.
She also agreed with a tweet pointing out "buddy has a 3-week-old baby. Maybe step away from the broflakes," and retweeted another suggesting Musk should be arrested for reopening the Tesla factory in California "in violation of the local health orders".
Metro reports that amongst her other likes was a screenshot of Ivanka Trump's tweet with the caption "[smashes face into keyboard repeatedly]". For good measure, she also liked the above tweet commenting "Thanksgiving is going to be fun". Which, let's be honest, it clearly will be.