Fact Check

No, Musk Didn't Tweet That Banning Reporters Is 'Pretty Innocuous'

A fake tweet compared "banning reporters I don't like" to journalists being murdered in other countries.

Published Dec 18, 2022

 (Twitter screenshot)
Image Via Twitter screenshot
Claim:
Elon Musk tweeted, "You know, in some parts of the world, journalists get murdered for crossing the wrong people. Banning the reporters I don't like from my own platform feels like a pretty innocuous alternative to me."

On Dec. 16, 2022, after Elon Musk suspended several high-profile journalists from Twitter for allegedly doxxing the location of Musk's private jet and, according to him, endangering his family, the screenshot of a tweet supposedly issued by Musk in defense of the suspensions quickly went viral. It read: 

You know, in some parts of the world,  journalists get murdered for crossing the wrong people. Banning the reporters I don't like from my own platform feels like a pretty innocuous alternative to me. 

This was not a real tweet or statement from Elon Musk. It does not appear on Musk's official Twitter timeline, nor, despite some users' claims that he actually did tweet it and then deleted it, does it appear in PolitiTweet's archive containing all of Musk's deleted tweets

The fake screenshot originally appeared on Dec. 16 on the subreddit r/WhitePeopleTwitter with a "Satire/Fake Tweet" label attached to it. We have therefore rated this claim "Originated as Satire." 

Sources

Liles, Jordan. "Elon Musk's Jet and 'Crazy Stalker' Allegations, Explained." Snopes, 16 Dec. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/news/2022/12/16/elon-musk-jet-stalker/.

"Twitter Suspends Journalists Who Wrote about Owner Elon Musk." AP NEWS, 16 Dec. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/elon-musk-technology-business-dac21de7abb6167bb604f5317aeda10a.

David Emery is a Portland-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.

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