Fact Check

Is This Mark Zuckerberg With Injuries After Elon Musk 'Surprised' Him?

The tech giants have had a contentious relationship.

Published Oct. 3, 2023

 (Screenshot via Twitter)
Image courtesy of Screenshot via Twitter
A photograph accurately depicts Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg with injuries on his face, including two black eyes, after Twitter owner Elon Musk made a surprise visit to his house.

The photograph was originally posted by Zuckerberg on his Instagram account and shows him after a mixed martial arts (MMA) sparring session that had nothing to do with Musk.

On Oct. 1, 2023, a tweet displayed a photograph of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg with significant injuries to his face, including two black eyes, and a claim that Elon Musk had paid him a "surprise visit."

The caption read, "There are rumors that Elon Musk made a surprise visit to Zuck's house today."


This is a real photograph of Zuckerberg, but the caption is incorrect and does not accurately depict what really happened.

The photograph was posted on Zuckerberg's verified Instagram account in early October 2023 and revealed the injuries were a result of mixed martial arts (MMA) training. The real caption stated: "Sparring got a little out of hand. May need to update my avatar."




A post shared by Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck)

Zuckerberg has been a practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and even competed successfully in some featherweight white belt categories in a California tournament. 

The two tech giants have been at odds with each other over several years. In June 2023, they even seemed to agree to face each other in a cage fight. By August 2023, Zuckerberg said Musk "isn't serious" about the match, and that "it's time to move on."

The above tweet appears to be posted in response to their on-again-off-again rivalry and their past desire to face off against each other in an actual fight. 

Given that it is a real photograph from Zuckerberg's Instagram account showing him after a sparring session and not a result of Musk making good on his challenge to face Zuckerberg in a fight, we rate this claim as "Miscaptioned." 


Frazier, Kierra. "Here's How the Zuckerberg-Musk Rivalry Escalated to That Shirtless Photo Post." POLITICO, 12 July 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/07/12/elon-musk-mark-zuckerberg-feuding-timeline-00105882. Accessed on 3 Oct. 2023.

Liu, Juliana. "Mark Zuckerberg Says 'it's Time to Move on' from Elon Musk Cage Fight | CNN Business." CNN, 14 Aug. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/08/14/tech/zuckerberg-musk-cage-fight-move-on-hnk-intl/index.html. Accessed on 3 Oct. 2023.

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