After Twitter Takeover, Elon Musk Tweets Far Right Conspiracy on Pelosi Attack

Twitter’s new proprietor, billionaire Elon Musk, amplified a false conspiracy concept on Twitter on Sunday concerning the violent assault on Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) husband. Afterward, he deleted the tweet containing the disinformation and tried to downplay his actions by joking about stories on what had transpired.

Musk was replying to a tweet from former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who condemned the assault and disparaged Republicans for utilizing violent rhetoric on-line and in particular person.

Paul Pelosi’s assailant, who fractured his cranium with a hammer within the encounter within the Pelosis’ house, has shared far proper conspiracy theories on social media, and reportedly requested “The place’s Nancy?” a number of occasions through the incident.

In his response to Clinton’s tweet, Musk printed a blatantly false conspiracy concept that claimed the assailant — recognized as 42-year-old David DePape — was having an affair with Paul Pelosi, and that the assault was associated to their supposed relationship, not far proper conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric from the GOP.

“There’s a tiny risk there is perhaps extra to this story than meets the attention,” Musk said in his reply to Clinton, sharing a hyperlink to the story from an internet site known as The Santa Monica Observer.

The positioning is a recognized writer of fake news articles — content material that’s utterly made up with the only real objective of deceptive and enraging those that consider it to be true. The web site Media Bias/Reality Examine, which catalogues such websites, describes The Santa Monica Observer as being a “questionable” supply due to its “routine publication of false and deceptive data and using poor sources.”

The positioning has, for instance, printed articles falsely asserting that Hillary Clinton actually died on 9/11, and pushed the false claim that a mass shooter in Texas in 2017 had converted to Islam previous to his assault.

Hours after going through widespread backlash for sharing the faux information article, Musk’s tweet was deleted, though who deleted the tweet is unknown. Several legitimate news sites noted that Musk’s actions might point out that disinformation might be allowed to run rampant on the platform underneath the billionaire’s path.

Musk beforehand promised that any adjustments to Twitter can be minute. Final week, upon buying the corporate, Musk vowed that the platform wouldn’t “become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.”

“Doesn’t Musk know that the world is watching to see how accountable he’s, as the brand new proprietor of Twitter?” former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian. “The truth that he personally posts such unhinged, harmful drivel inside three days of taking on the platform suggests he doesn’t give a rattling.”

In response to the backlash, Musk shared a picture of a New York Times headline that read, “Elon Musk, in a Tweet, Shares Hyperlink From Website Identified to Publish False Information.”

“That is faux – I did *not* tweet out a hyperlink to The New York Instances!” Musk joked.

Many previously active Twitter users have left the positioning as a result of Musk’s buy of Twitter, and his newest actions might lead extra individuals to delete their accounts.

False claims involving politicians have the potential to lead to violence; DePape, for instance, apparently bought into several anti-Democratic Party conspiracy theories previous to his assault on the Pelosis’ residence. One other latest instance is former President Donald Trump’s errant claims of election fraud within the 2020 presidential contest, which led to hundreds of his loyalists attacking the U.S. Capitol building in January 2021.