#RIPELONMUSK was trending today after a series of screenshots of reports came out. They claimed that Elon Musk died from a battery explosion at a Tesla factory. Of course, these screenshots were fake and Musk is alive and well. In response to the rumors, he tweeted an eye-roll emoji.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2021
So, where did these fake headlines come from?
The first traces of the hashtag, according to The Drive, appeared around 10:30 am on Friday. The tweet included a picture of Elon Musk joining a group of celebrities and other pop culture icons in heaven. Some of the celebrities include Bob Ross, Michael Jackson, Prince, Harambe, and a Club Penguin.
— GUY (@googpilled) March 5, 2021
A good portion of these questionable screenshots looks like they are from credible sources. For instance, a Fox News headline reads “Elon Musk Declared Dead After Factory Explosion,” and,” Elon Musk is Dead – What This Means For the Stock Market, and Why This is Good For the Average American,” from Buzzfeed.
Someone even went out of their way to create a fake announcement from Tesla that confirmed his death to investors. The statement claimed that there is an investigation underway on how the information got out and that they need to find a replacement for Elon Musk before making an announcement.
“We absolutely must find a replacement for Mr. Musk before announcing his death publicly.”
The statement was signed by Tesla’s PR team. Someone needs to tell the person that made this that Tesla does not have a PR team anymore. Nice try I guess.
— Freud_Goku (@FreudOne) March 5, 2021
It is not certain why people made these fake stories, but the fake announcement from Tesla might be a clue. Benzinga reports that the reason these screenshots were circulated was to bring down Tesla’s share price.