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Elon Musk quietly deletes meme featuring prominent white nationalist Capitol rioter

The Twitter CEO shared an image of Pepe the Frog shortly after.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Posted on Nov 28, 2022   Updated on Nov 28, 2022, 12:05 pm CST

Elon Musk quickly tweeted then deleted a photograph on Monday of notorious white nationalist Anthime “Baked Alaska” Gionet.

The image, which showed Gionet saluting a McDonald’s flag at half-mast, was promoted by the Twitter CEO to his more than 119 million followers.

Twitter users immediately began pointing out the image’s origins while questioning why Musk would amplify content from Gionet.

“is that baked alaska?” one user asked in response to Musk’s now-deleted tweet.

Others, who appeared to be supporters of Gionet, celebrated Musk for sharing the photo.

“YOBA HEAD? ELON TWEETS OUT CLASSIC BAKED ALASKA,” one said, referencing the popular acronym for “Year of Baked Alaska.”

Musk has declined thus far to comment on the deleted tweet, although his actions might suggest that he was initially unaware of Gionet’s identity. Nevertheless, the fact that Musk could share such an image raises questions on who he is interacting with online.

Shortly after deleting the tweet, however, Musk shared an image of Pepe the Frog. The cartoon character has long been a popular symbol among white nationalists and followers of the far-right. It’s also specifically become somewhat of a symbol of the movement of white nationalists aligned around antisemite Nick Fuentes, who this weekend dined with former President Donald Trump.

Gionet, who also stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was recently sentenced to jail time for macing a security guard in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2020. Gionet will begin serving his sentence in January of next year.

The infamous internet troll is also awaiting sentencing for his involvement in the Capitol riot after pleading guilty to numerous charges in July. Prosecutors are looking to sentence Gionet to 75 days for the offenses.

Musk’s tweet comes amid extreme upheaval at the social media company, which has been thrust into chaos since the billionaire’s takeover.

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*First Published: Nov 28, 2022, 11:30 am CST