Trolls caused confusion on Friday after they managed to convince some of the internet that Elon Musk had died, even though he’s definitely still alive.
As fact-checking website Snopes pointed out, the hashtag #RIPELON started to trend alongside fake screenshots of news articles. Many of the fake tributes to the SpaceX and Tesla founder claimed he died in a car battery explosion, while others suggested the impact his death could have on the stock market. Of course, anyone with common sense could tell you these are fake screenshots, and as of right now Elon Musk appears to be alive.
The screenshots are, obviously, not from genuine articles. It’s not immediately clear why trolls have gone through such extensive efforts to make it appear as though Musk had died, with some even sharing a doctored announcement from Tesla. If he were, in fact, actually dead, it would be a nationwide news story rather than a series of shady reports from unverified sources.
Moderators on the Tesla sub-Reddit even needed to make an announcement about the trolling. “Don’t fall for these fake stories,” wrote one user. “They are posting fake links that lead to nowhere and posting screenshots from said fake articles. They are NOT real. Elon Musk is alive and well. There was no factory explosion. The only real bit of information they contain is the fact the stock went down a bit.”
Elon Musk has yet to respond to the bizarre Twitter moment, although he’s likely busy dealing with the latest launch of SpaceX’s starship prototype SN10. While the ship had what appeared to be a successful landing at the SpaceX facilities in Boca Chica, Texas, it exploded just minutes after landing.