Fact Check

Is This 'Moon Face' Pic of Elon Musk at the World Cup Final Real?

Musk was spotted at the 2022 FIFA World Cup final between France and Argentina.

Published Dec 20, 2022

 (Twitter screenshot/@LEBassett)
Image Via Twitter screenshot/@LEBassett
A real photo of Elon Musk at the final game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup shows him looking old, with a thinner hairline, rounder face, and sagging neck and cheeks.

The viral photograph of Musk was manipulated to give him what some described as the look of a full moon face emoji.

After billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk was spotted alongside Jared Kushner and other famous individuals at the FIFA World Cup final on Dec. 18, 2022, a number of photographs of him made the rounds online. One in particular shared on Twitter by Laura Bassett, editor-in-chief of Jezebel, a woman-focused magazine, raised questions about its authenticity:

For reference, this is the full moon face emoji

Musk looked visibly older in the photograph, his hairline thinner, his face more saggy than it appeared in other recent photos of him. This photograph was very clearly manipulated, as evidenced by comparable photographs taken at the same event. 

Others on Twitter shared what was clearly the same photograph, but with no visible alterations:

Videos at the event also showed Musk's face and body looking nothing like the "moon face emoji": 

Given that the photograph was clearly manipulated, we rate this claim as "False." 


"Elon Musk and Jared Kushner Spotted in Football World Cup Final." www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/shorts/mL8aoPGZpKE. Accessed 20 Dec. 2022.

"Elon Musk Shakes Hands with Turkish President Erdogan at World Cup Final." The Independent, www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLk5iDqxaz0. Accessed 20 Dec. 2022.

"???? Full Moon with Face Emoji." Emojipedia, https://emojipedia.org/full-moon-face/. Accessed 20 Dec. 2022.

Twitter, https://twitter.com/ogdenbirch/status/1605067811059294208. Accessed 20 Dec. 2022.

Twitter, https://twitter.com/penguinsix/status/1604487559366598657. Accessed 20 Dec. 2022.

Ibrahim, Nur. "Is This a Real Photo of Jared Kushner and Elon Musk at the FIFA World Cup?" Snopes, 19 Dec. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/jared-kushner-elon-musk-fifa-world-cup/. Accessed 20 Dec. 2022.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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