Fact Check

Elon Musk's Account Was Not Suspended by Outgoing Twitter Employee

A false tweet with hundreds of thousands of engagements claimed, "An outgoing Twitter employee suspended Elon Musk’s account on their way out."

Published Nov 4, 2022

Elon Musk's Twitter account displayed on a phone screen and Twitter logo displayed on a laptop screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on November 1, 2022. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Image Via Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Claim:
Elon Musk's account was briefly suspended by an outgoing Twitter employee.

On Nov. 4, 2022, Twitter users began to share a false rumor that claimed, "An outgoing Twitter employee suspended Elon Musk's account on their way out." The tweet below received more than 100,000 combined retweets and likes.

An outgoing Twitter employee did not suspend Elon Musk's account on their way out.

Users shared a screenshot that appeared to show Musk's account, @elonmusk, had truly been suspended. The screenshot was real. However, the second letter of the handle was an uppercase "i," not a lowercase "L." As many readers are no doubt aware, these letters look identical in some fonts.

An outgoing Twitter employee did not suspend Elon Musk's account on their way out.

Reuters fact-check journalist Seana Davis shed light on the matter in a tweet, adding that, "The suspended account has duped plenty over the past few months."

The context behind the "outgoing Twitter employee" false tweet was in regard to widespread layoffs at the company. The firings had begun on the day before the rumor started making its way around Twitter, coming just one week after the news that Musk was the company's new owner.

The Associated Press reported that the total number of firings at Twitter was not yet known. The company reportedly had 7,500 employees on its payroll before the layoffs were carried out.

Sources:

Davis, Seana. Twitter, 4 Nov. 2022, https://twitter.com/seana_davis/status/1588620958008774656.

Ortutay, Barbara, and Matt O'Brien. "Widespread Twitter Layoffs Begin a Week after Musk Takeover." The Associated Press, 4 Nov. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/elon-musk-twitter-inc-business-layoffs-c0334da78b3af9faf2f43cf3f6e52ffa.

Jordan Liles is a Snopes reporter with expertise in investigating misinformation, inauthentic social media activity, and scams.

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