Chief Space Douche Elon Musk Backtracked On An Offer To Help Tonga After Just Nine Minutes

Elon Musk has reached peak Elon Musk by publicly offering to send SpaceX aid to Tonga before publicly walking it back after nine minutes.

It’s been reported that the island might have to go without internet for a month, because of the volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami in Tonga a few weeks ago.

The island’s wifi is supplied by an undersea cable, which was damaged by the tsunami.

In response to a Reuters article about the situation, Elon Musk did what tech bros love to do best. He publicly proclaimed his intention to help without actually knowing if he could.

“Could people from Tonga let us know if it is important for SpaceX to send over Starlink terminals?” Musk wrote.

Then, someone tweeted him a link to a public letter by New Zealand MP Dr Shane Reti, who had written to Musk asking him to help Tonga on January 17.

“I am respectfully asking if you could see your way please to providing urgent Starlink internet communications to public officials and the good people of Tonga in this moment of need”.

A whole nine minutes after his OG tweet, Elon Musk decided that it was simply too hard to actually help.

“This is a hard thing for us to do right now,” he wrote. “As we don’t have enough satellites with laser links and there are already geo sats that serve the Tonga region.”

“That is why I’m asking for clear confirmation.”

So he offered to provide internet, got tweeted a link to a letter asking for his help, and then said it would be ‘too hard’.

It feels weird that issues of international aid are being discussed over Twitter and that a guy with millions of followers and billions of dollars can publicly offer help without even knowing if it’s feasible.

Why not figure out if you can do it and then tweet how good and helpful your space-colonising tech is?

Also, as some people pointed out, the whole point is that Tonga has no access to internet. How exactly were they supposed to see the tweet, Elon?

Tom Westbrook, the OG reporter of the story, replied to Musk saying that Tongan officials were interested in reaching out to him but didn’t know how to.

Musk hasn’t replied or liked the tweet though in fairness he may have DM’d.

What’s super bizarre though is that it seems like Elon tweeted out this appeal to Tonga without actually getting in touch with anyone from the Tongan government. Sounds wildly familiar to his grand idea to help save the kids in the Thai cave, doesn’t it.

Whether it was all for clout or whether it was a genuine but misguided offer is ultimately unclear: I won’t pretend to know how the mind of a billionaire works. As long as there’s no submarines.