Elon Musk recently questioned the reliability of COVID-19 testing after positive and negative results, and one response sent ‘Space Karen’ viral.
A Twitter user labelled Elon Musk as a ‘Space Karen’ and since then, many other users have joined the conversation sending #SpaceKaren viral on the social media service. The label is only the latest controversy Musk has gotten caught up in on Twitter and comes after the Tesla CEO’s comments on the reliability of COVID-19 testing.
Elon Musk is not a stranger to controversial comments on social media, and this includes the coronavirus pandemic with Musk previously suggesting he would not take a vaccine when one becomes available. In fact, Musk has repeatedly made claims that some have suggested amount to the Tesla and SpaceX CEO spreading false information and even putting workers at risk. The suggestion of Musk spreading false information also appears to be what caused the Space Karen hashtag to gain so much traction over the weekend.
Musk recently took to Twitter to inform followers that he had been tested four times in a short period of time, with two of the tests coming back positive and two as negative. This led to Musk suggesting there might be a problem with the way tests are performed. However, a Tweet from Dr Emma Bell looked to explain the difference in test outcomes while also referring to Musk as a “Space Karen” and accusing him of not “reading up” before Tweeting out to “millions of followers.” Dr Bell went on to explain that although the opposite test results might seem strange, they “are completely in line” with expectations, due to the type of quick and error-prone testing Musk used.
Rapid antigen tests trade sensitivity for speed. They return a result in <30 minutes, but can only detect COVID-19 when you’re absolutely riddled with it. What’s bogus is that Space Karen didn’t read up on the test before complaining to his millions of followers. pic.twitter.com/a1Snfpm03h
— Emma Bell PhD (@emmabell42) November 14, 2020
How Twitter Reacted To Space Karen
As is often the case, the Twitterverse immediately latched on to the ‘Space Karen’ reference, sending the hashtag viral in no time. There are those who have seized the opportunity to remind Twitter users that it is worth taking the time to think before Tweeting. However, it seems that the vast majority of those taking part in the #SpaceKaren are simply acknowledging the funnier side of the label.
In addition, some have taken the reference a little further by suggesting that Musk should ‘speak to the manager.’
While Twitter is doing what Twitter usually does, there is the serious side to all of this. COVID-19 mis and disinformation has proved to be an online problem for months now, and it is the suggestion that Musk’s original Tweet was misleading that caused Dr Bell to send the now-viral Tweet in the first place. Therefore, it is important that the original message by Dr Bell doesn’t get lost in all the ‘Space Karen’ Twitter chatter that’s now taking place.
More: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Won’t Take COVID-19 Vaccine When Available
Source: Emma Bell/Twitter
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