While new variants of the Covid-19 virus have kept epidemiologists and health experts on their toes for the past two years, Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems to be obsessed with a different kind of virus these days.
Recently, the SpaceX owner known for his often controversial social media posts, tweeted about a 'woke mind virus'. The term has gone viral since then with many on Google searching if its a new kind of virus. But it's not.
What is 'Woke Mind Virus'?
Like many things on the internet, the 'woke mind virus' is a creation of Elon Musk who recently took a dig at Netflix's dwindling viewership in a tweet. "The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable"
It is as yet unclear what exactly Musk was referring to or which particular content on Netflix he was expressly slamming. His comment, however, came after the OTT giant logged a record drop in subscribers. This is apparently the first time in 10 years that Netflix has seen such a fall in subscribers.
What's up with Netflix sales?
Netflix's customer base fell by 200,000 subscribers during the January-March quarter, the first contraction the streaming service has seen since it became available throughout most of the world other than China six years ago. The drop stemmed in part from Netflix's decision to withdraw from Russia to protest the war against Ukraine, resulting in a loss of 700,000 subscribers. Netflix projected a loss of another 2 million subscribers in the current April-June quarter.
The erosion, coming off a year of progressively slower growth, has rattled Netflix investors. Shares plunged by more than 25% in extended trading after Netflix revealed its disappointing performance.
If the stock drop extends into Wednesday's regular trading session, Netflix shares will have lost more than half of their value so far this year — wiping out about $150 billion in shareholder wealth in less than four months.
Is Musk trying to buy Netflix?
Musk's tweet has led to a social media storm on Twitter with many speculating of the cryptic tweet is an indication of some bigger plan in the future. Many on social media speculated that the tweet could mean that Musk was actually interested in buying Netflix. As Musk's tweet went viral, many warned Netflix to up its game or Musk will end up buying it.
The jokes come days after Musk announced his apparent willingness to take over the microblogging site Twitter owned by Jack Dorsey. Musk already owns a share in the company and according to reports, Twitter's board members adopted the 'poison pill' strategy lately in a bid to deter any of Musk's potential expansionist plans.
But is Netflix really 'woke'?
'Woke' is a term that came into use on a large scale when millenials started using it to describe content or people who were intellectually 'awake' or conscious as opposed to 'boomers' from previous generations who held on to several old-fashioned prejudices and views that are today considered inappropriate. Critics of the word (and of millenial culture), however, often use the word ironically when they think millenials went a bit too far.
Netflix, for its part, has often been slammed by certain sections after it attempted to depict unconventional or unorthodox topics as gender roles, feminism, LGBTQIA issues, religious extremism and much else. Conservative critics in the US have often claimed that Netflix supports inflammatory, 'pro-Left' content that promote topics deemed controversial by the far-right. The platform has also been accused of promoting anti-Trump shows. Much of the criticism, however, has been dismissed by liberal viewers and critics alike.
As to the curiosity regarding his plans for Netflix, there is currently no confirmation on the same and neither Musk nor Netflix have mentioned anything to support the speculation.
But why does Musk hate the 'woke'?
This is not the first time when Musk has vocalised his disdain for all things woke. Political correctness is not Musk's forte. In a previous interview, Musk claimed that 'wokeness' was the biggest threat to civilization. He spoke out several times against the importance given to political correctness which he claims has led to a harmful 'cancel culture'.