Tesla and its founder, Elon Musk, are no strangers to being attacked by people online for a multitude of reasons. These attacks included harsh comments that went viral, ransomware attacks and, more recently, a TikTok smear campaign supported by a mysterious group.
Said group goes by the name MSCHF and it is responsible for several viral campaigns whose sole purpose is to take down major companies it deems bad. In essence, users of on TikTok (a very popular viral short-form video sharing platform from China) are being paid thousands (up to $20,000 in some cases, depending on who they target or the reach of their takedowns) to post videos.
For anti-Tesla content, the payout isn’t that high, though. The maximum a user can receive is $1,000 for each video they post that reaches at least 500,000 views. The group also created a custom sound to be used for these videos - it’s an altered version of Billie Eilish’s song ‘ Bad Guy ‘ that has Elon Musk’s name added in.
MSCHF’s manifesto says
‘ Sponsored posts are a cringey ubiquitous evil of social platforms. ‘
‘ The idea of “selling out”, once such a hot button, has become so passé that it’s hard to remember what it ever meant. On social platforms, selling out is aspirational: hawking cheap direct-to-landfill products is a sign of institutional success and a stamp of approval. ‘
‘ Not everyone is sufficiently influential to be blessed by the Giant Brand Hand In The Sky. Still, we all buy products: if we cannot become paid shills for brands, we can at least attack them in unison. Anti Advertising Advertising Club is dedicated to reversing the flow of attention-economy juice through the top-of-funnel pipeline. ‘
Business Insider talked to the group’s founder, Gabriel Whaley, in order to get a better grasp on what MSCHF wants to achieve, earlier in the year. Whaley said he doesn’t want to define MSCHF as a company or a brand (even though it is technically a company)
‘ A brand of what? I don't know. Being a company kills the magic. We're trying to do stuff that the world can't even define. Our perspective is everything is funny in a nihilistic sort of way. We're not here to make the world a better place. We're making light of how much everything sucks. ‘