Elon Musk took a swipe at Facebook after the attack on the Capitol, saying that the riots were the result of a 'domino effect' stemming from the social network's creation

Elon Musk took a swipe at Facebook after the attack on the Capitol, saying that the riots were the result of a 'domino effect' stemming from the social network's creation
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk (left) and Facebook's CEO Mark ZuckerbergTobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images, Sven Hoppe/Picture Alliance via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk shared an image on Twitter Wednesday night that appeared to partially blame Facebook for the pro-Trump violence in the Capitol.
  • "This is called the domino effect," Musk tweeted. The first domino in the image was labeled "a website to rate women on campus," in reference to the creation of Facebook by Harvard University students.
  • The final domino was about the rioters, who stormed the capital on Wednesday.
  • Facebook has been accused of allowing misinformation to spread, including from President Donald Trump.
  • Musk's response to Wednesday's violence, during which four people died, was mild compared to many other business leaders.

Elon Musk seemingly blamed the creation of Facebook for the violence in the US Capitol building in a tweet posted late Wednesday night.

Congress met on Wednesday to certify the result of the US presidential election. Urged on by President Donald Trump's violent rhetoric and claims of election fraud, rioters stormed the Capitol. Four people died - one shot by police, three from medical emergencies.

Later that night, Musk shared a meme linking the riots to Facebook. The image featured tiles lining up like dominoes. The smallest tile, the domino that causes the others to fall, was labeled "a website to rate women on campus," in reference to the creation of Facebook by Harvard University students.
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On the largest tile was a post from Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, which read: "The Capitol seems to be under the control of a man in a viking hat." Leibovich's comment referred to Jake Angeli, a well-known QAnon influencer dubbed the "Q Shaman," whose photo was widely shared Wednesday as he stormed the Capitol in a Viking-like horned fur helmet.

Social media platforms have increasingly come under fire in recent months for allowing misinformation, including from Trump, to spread.

Musk has been openly critical of Facebook for years. In February, he urged people to delete their Facebook accounts, calling the platform "lame," and in May he tweeted "Facebook sucks" during a clash with the social media giant's artificial intelligence lead.
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Musk, unlike other business leaders on Wednesday, did not directly condemn the rioters or speak out against the violence. Google CEO Sundar Pichai called it the "antithesis of democracy" in an internal memo seen by Insider, and Apple CEO Tim Cook said that "those responsible for this insurrection should be held to account."

Read more: Lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters recount the harrowing experience as a violent pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol to protest the electoral-vote countFacebook removed a video of President Trump spouting baseless claims of election fraud on Wednesday night. The platform then blocked Trump from posting content for 24 hours.
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But prior to this decision, Facebook, without explanation blocked employees from commenting on posts on its internal messaging boards discussing the ban. Employees also slammed the platform's lack of speed and aggressiveness in dealing with the situation.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did, however, send a memo to staff condemning the "mob violence," calling it "a dark moment in our nation's history."

"The peaceful transition of power is critical to the functioning of democracy, and we need our political leaders to lead by example and put the nation first," the memo continued.
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Trump in a statement early Thursday pledged an "orderly transition of power."

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