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‘How can we help?’: Musk responds to Belarus opposition plea, gets bombarded with request for Starlink internet access

‘How can we help?’: Musk responds to Belarus opposition plea, gets bombarded with request for Starlink internet access
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Thursday, 13 August, 2020, 23:40

Elon Musk has responded to a plea from the Belarussian opposition to use his leverage “to stop dictatorship”. People on Twitter were full of ideas about how the extravagant billionaire can help.
Belarus is dealing with the worst wave of anti-government protests the country has seen in a decade, and the opposition could use an ally or two. A wealthy American, like, say, Bill Gates or Elon Musk, could have enough clout to lean on President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

At least, that seems to be the idea behind a Twitter post that Musk responded to on Thursday. Purportedly moved by scenes of violence unfolding on Belarusian streets and the dramatic music that accompanied them, the billionaire asked how he could help. An abundance of ideas flooded the comments.

Some were quick to offer amusing if impractical solutions to Belarus’ current problems, like, why not put Lukashenko into a Tesla car and send them both into orbit? Or use Musk’s engineering know-how to deploy “justice robots” against the Belarusian police?

Other commenters were more down to earth. One popular demand was to provide Belarus access to the internet via Starlink satellites to counter suspected throttling of traffic by the Belarus government. Musk could also use his connections in high places in the US to encourage wider coverage of events in Belarus on Western mainstream media, some people suggested.

Arguably the most straightforward request came from the author of the original post, a femenist activist from Russia. She posted a link explaining how Musk or anyone interested could donate money to the protesters.

There were also skeptics who suggested that foreign players, including Musk, should stay out of the Belarussian stand-off.