Defend Truth


Stop giving narcissist Musk the attention he craves


Shapshak is editor-in-chief of and executive director of Scrolla.Africa

It’s time for the rest of us to grow up – because Elon Musk clearly won’t – and stop our fixation with the billionaire brat’s increasingly bizarre antics. Our mental health deserves it.

If I never write about Elon Musk’s mad shenanigans at Twitter again, it will be too soon. 

It seems like the tech world lurches from one insane episode to another. 

It’s as embarrassing as watching World Rugby rescinding red cards for dangerous tackles, putting England’s marketing for next month’s world cup ahead of player safety. 

Musk’s increasingly weird and over-the-top behaviour since he bought Twitter for $44bn last year has not only reduced its value by half, but has also lowered the tone of public debate to nonsense like poop emojis and cage fights.

Sadly, Musk is the new Donald Trump – everything he does becomes newsworthy because of who he is and how wealthy he is. What he does is no longer news. 

The first time he challenged Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to a cage fight, as puerile and improbable as it was, it was news. Now it isn’t.

We all laughed at Trump’s late-night, somnambulist Covfefe tweet. Now it seems as if Musk is embracing his right-wing hero’s antics and will do anything to remain in the spotlight.

I suspect he is a narcissist. A brilliant, world-changing genius who has reinvented space travel and electric cars, while creating a satellite internet business that was crucial for the Ukrainians after last year’s Russian invasion.

This, however, has become Covfefe 2.0.

Is the latest round of cage fight drivel a real story or a desperate attempt to get attention?

It has evolved into some form of bizarre online Munchausen syndrome. As soon as Musk feels unloved, which is usually late at night, he says something outrageous to his 153m Twitter followers. 

Zuckerberg is the all-American alpha male. He has been training with mixed martial arts nutters and I assume this is where Musk found his inspiration for the initial insult.

Zuckerberg is – and I say this with some reservation and awareness of the potential insult to others – the ultimate example of short-man syndrome. When the then-Facebook CEO addressed Congress over misinformation and election interference, he required a booster seat. Bing the images. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.

We all know this cage fight will never happen, and yet the headlines over this lunatic behaviour appear whenever Musk wants attention.

I’m quite sure Musk thinks this is amusing – and is revelling in the interest he is getting – but it isn’t funny anymore. If it ever was.

Musk is an attention-seeking missile who will do anything to remain in the spotlight.

Remember what happened when the President of the United States, Joe Biden, got more engagement with his tweet about this year’s Super Bowl? 

Musk went berserk.

This major US sports event is the equivalent of a World Cup final – albeit with only one country competing – and is the high point of US television. It was Musk’s unacceptably nasty and bullying behaviour during this instance that truly turned me off a man I had admired for years.

Screaming, “You’re fired, you’re fired” into the face of anyone, let alone one of the last two principal engineers at Twitter, is beyond the pale. Like Musk, I was bullied at high school. I know the shame and hot tears of this kind of inexcusable behaviour.

When bullied kids become bullying adults, that is when they have truly failed as human beings. If you have experienced something so awful, why would you do it to anyone else? 

We haven’t even got to Musk’s equally inexcusable and destructive comments about farm killings and so-called “white genocide”. Owning the digital town square doesn’t give anyone the right to spew disinformation.

If anything, like elected officials or the CEOs of listed companies, it behoves you to hold yourself to a higher standard. If only Musk could get this. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rama Chandra says:

    Hypocrisy, they name is Tony.
    How can you write an article telling people not to talk about something? Was your intention noone reads it?

    And I disagree with the argument on White genocide. While the phrase is clearly hyperbolic, the excess violence and the language around it are clearly anti-white. That’s not surprising given the enormous violence of white farmers during the apartheid era. The fact that the attacks hurt/kill a huge number of non-whites also does not make this less so. The fact that many of the crimes are “just commercial” also does not make it less so. The fact that urban whites and travelling whites are unaffected is also not relevant.

    More properly the claim should be “ethnic cleansing”. However in many contexts, people use the terms interchangeably. If you don’t believe me try to Malaprop the words to your friends and see if they even notice.

  • Gregory Favish says:

    Ah yes , let’s ignore the billionaire genius who revolutionized space travel, electric cars and satellite internet because some guy named Toby said so….

  • Paul Mathias says:

    Seems to me that people who are amused, aggrieved or foaming at the mouth annoyed by the behavior of famous people, for want of a better description, need to think about what they are tuned into.

    The deeper you wade into social media, the more you are allowing these individuals in your space and in your face.

    Are they always going to say and do things we agree with…nope…that doesn’t happen with people who I actually know, who are part of my life – why would a celeb, a CEO, be any different.

    Just not sure why we should be so angry about it.

    • Ritey roo roo says:

      Yes, not sure what all the mouth frothing is about. Honestly, it’s like water off a duck’s back. Why get your knickers in a knot about it – just let the guy get on with it and all his other projects too.

  • Agf Agf says:

    Why have DM in general and Toby Shapshak in particular got such a “thing” about Musk? As soon as Musk took over Twitter and revealed the censorship and government interference that was taking place, the far left, mainstream media and journalists like Toby did an immediate about face and started slagging him off. Musk is a hero.

  • Stuart Hulley-Miller says:

    Let’s not forget that this is how Toby makes a living ….. getting attention somehow. Let’s also remember he is part of the ‘social’ media. There seem to be more similarities between Elon and Toby than just being bullied.

  • Steve Davidson says:

    Musk has Aspergers so maybe give him a bit of slack?

  • alan.hall says:

    If it’s not woke its right wing !

  • Ritey roo roo says:

    “Zuckerberg is the all-American alpha male”

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Honestly Toby, is this all you have to worry about? Get serious and give attention to the real dangers facing this country. For example, if anyone deserves not to be given any attention, it is the despicable racist and fascist monster and bully, Malema. This odious and hypocritical rabble-rouser and his minion thugs will set this country alight with his hatred, vitriol and incitement to violence/murder, and will leave this country a bankrupt wasteland and a miserable failure like Zimbabwe. The media will be like in Russia – it exists only to toe the party line and glorify the diabolical idiot in charge. Get real!!

  • Ben Harper says:

    You got a mancrush on Elon? Almost 50% of your contributions are on Elon Musk, you must be desperately in love with the guy!

  • Cheryl Siewierski says:

    Oh dear Tony, don’t touch them on their Elons.

    While it is really sad, because for a minute there I really thought Musk could save our sorry arses, there are many, many reasons I now agree with the assessment of him as unworthy of the praise and following he has garnered (and honestly, if you simply follow his X account that should be enough). I suspect the blind, knee-jerk defence of him is borne of a lack of actual familiarity with his actions and words, and a romantic notion of him as a cool, sciency superhero who challenges the impossible. He is, instead, probably closer to a ketamined-up Bond villain these days. I hope he turns things around, but it’s not looking pretty based on today’s Xs.

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