How Twitter’s Elon Musk amplifies misinformation – ReportBy Nurudeen Akewushola on April 20, 2023
A report by the Agence France-Presse (AFP) has alleged that the Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, Elon Musk, repeatedly used his account to amplify false claims from some of the most notorious disinformation platforms on the internet.
According to the report published on April 19, 2023, the conclusion was reached after analysing Musk’s online activity.
“The posts show Musk drawing attention to misinformation about everything from the war in Ukraine to the attack on US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s husband. Last week, the billionaire boosted a tweet that wrongly suggested doctors misdiagnosed flu cases as Covid-19 deaths,” the report stated.
The report alleged that Musk is drawing attention to disinformation-sharing platforms and has responded to a tweet from a platform which has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory at least 40 times since purchasing Twitter for $44 billion nearly six months ago.
The AFP said it reviewed Musk’s tweets and replies between October 2022 to March 2023 using data from PolitiTweet, a website that tracks public figures’ posts until Twitter cut off its access.
“He shared a fabricated CNN segment, called a made-up quote “wise words” and falsely claimed police escorted a rioter through the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. He amplified a post blaming mass shootings on LGBTQ individuals and endorsed a fake casualty count from Ukraine,” the report stated.
According to the report, Musk also repeatedly downplayed Covid-19 and promoted spurious claims about vaccines causing blood clots, miscarriages and heart problems.
The report raised concerns about the Twitter CEO, who has a following of more than 135 million users, and the potential impact of his tweets on the proliferation of misinformation on social media, given the wide reach of his online influence.
Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via email@example.com and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.