Elon Musk — the Tesla chief executive, SpaceX founder and soon-to-be “Saturday Night Live” host — is an open admirer of memes.
“Who controls the memes controls the universe,” Mr. Musk tweeted last summer. He has called the visual jokes “modern art” and shares them regularly on Twitter, where he has more than 52 million followers.
Mr. Musk doesn’t make many memes himself. Instead, he finds them online and has others send him their favorites. Sometimes he reposts his favorites without citing their origins.
by reposting work from other creators without credit or payment have encountered backlash. In 2019, a conversation about this issue was jump-started by a campaign against an Instagram account run by Jerry Media. It helped shift the standards by which brands and top influencers abide by today.
Quinn Heraty, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property law, noted that in 2017 the rapper Ludacris was sued by the website LittleThings for posting an illustration from the site on his Instagram, without giving credit. (The parties reached a settlement.)
richest man on earth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has used Twitter to bolster his persona (and promote cryptocurrencies and stocks, including his own).
Jamie Trufin, who runs a meme account called @DogeCoinDaddy, said he was disappointed when Mr. Musk posted one of his Doge memes in March without credit.