FOLLOWING the successful acquisition of Twitter by billionaire investor and businessman Elon Musk which has elicited mixed reactions on social media, several images which show tweets purportedly originating from his verified Twitter handle have surfaced online.
Twitter reached an agreement to sell the company to Elon Musk for around $44billion (£34.6billion) on Monday after several days of negotiation.
One of the images which have now gone viral on social media (such as the one here) showed a purported tweet from Elon Musk’s verified handle saying after he had acquired Twitter, he would acquire Facebook as well and delete both of them.
“Now that I bought Twitter, I’m deleting it. FB is next. Go outside and enjoy your life,” reads the tweet in the image.
The fabricated tweet is dated April 25 and supposedly generated about 950,000 likes and 136,000 retweets.
Another similar tweet purportedly originated from him reads :
“I hope to buy Nigeria as a country. Then fix it.”
Elon Musk says he wishes to delete Twitter, Facebook and buy Nigeria.
Checks by the FactCheckHub show that the images are manipulated using tweet generator tools.
A keyword search on the verified Twitter handle of the new Twitter buyer gave no result of such tweets.
There is also no reported official announcement from Musk that he would delete Twitter and Facebook neither there is any report quoting him that he would buy Nigeria.
Further keyword search revealed that a tweet about deleting Twitter was also made by a Twitter handle @fakenewsnwork on April 26, and a screenshot generating bolt, Pikazo erroneously provided the screenshot of the tweet as a tweet made by Elon Musk.
Further checks into the reply section of the tweet show that the tweet has also been digitally manipulated as Elon Musk’s tweet using various digital means such as the one here.
Elon Musk debunked a similar fabricated image that says he would buy McDonald and fix all the ice cream machines.
“Listen, I can’t do miracles ok,” he tweeted.
The FactCheckHub found out that there are several fake tweet generator tools online which allow users to create fake tweet images for any Twitter accounts including verified Twitter handles.
The claims that Elon Musk tweeted about deleting Twitter and Facebook as well as buying Nigeria are FALSE. The images in circulation are manipulated.
Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against fake news and other forms of information disorder. You can shoot him via email@example.com and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.