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

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Tobias 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 labelled “a website to rate women on campus,” a reference to the creation of Facebook by Harvard University students.
  • The final domino was about the rioters who stormed the Capitol 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 with criticism from many other business leaders.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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

Congress met on Wednesday to certify the result of the US presidential election. A mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol to disrupt the process. Four people died — one was shot by police, and three died during 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 labelled “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, the 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 scrutiny 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.

The Tesla CEO, 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, “Those responsible for this insurrection should be held to account.”


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Lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters recount the harrowing experience as a violent pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol to protest the electoral-vote count

Facebook on Wednesday night removed a video of Trump spouting baseless claims of election fraud. The platform then blocked Trump from posting content for 24 hours.

But before 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.

Critics, including Alex Stamos, a former Facebook security chief, have called for Trump’s permanent suspension from Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did 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 added.

Trump in a statement Thursday pledged an “orderly transition of power.”