Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Elon Musk tweets and deletes link to article pushing unfounded conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi attack

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Elon Musk on Sunday tweeted and deleted a link to an article pushing an unfounded conspiracy theory about the attack on Paul Pelosi. The tweet from Musk, who now owns Twitter, raised concerns about the type of content that will be allowed on the social media site under his control.

In a since deleted tweet responding to Hillary Clinton, Musk wrote: “There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye,” with a link to a story from the right-wing website Santa Monica Observer — a site that has pushed an anti-LGBT conspiracy theory regarding the attack, according to an archived version of the story.

The outlet has made false claims in the past, including that Clinton herself died on Sept. 11 and has since been replaced by a lookalike, according to The Associated Press.

Musk deleted the tweet shortly after posting it on Sunday morning and as of Sunday evening had not tweeted since. 

The former secretary of state had tweeted a link to a story in The Los Angeles Times about 42-year-old David Wayne DePape, the man suspected of beating House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer inside the Pelosi’s San Francisco home on Friday.

“The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories,” Clinton tweeted. “It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result. As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow.”  

DePape on Friday allegedly broke into the Pelosi’s home, shouting “Where is Nancy?”, and had planned to detain Paul Pelosi until the speaker got home, law enforcement sources told CBS News. DePape was immediately apprehended by police and will be charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and several additional felonies, according to authorities.

A CBS News review of suspected social media posts by DePape shows him spreading conspiracy theories about Holocaust denial, pedophiles in the government, and claims that Democratic officials run child sex rings.

Musk’s deleted tweet was sent days after the Tesla CEO officially took control of the social media network earlier this week after purchasing it for $44 billion. 

As questions swirl over what type of content would be allowed on the site and if previously banned accounts will be reinstated, Musk tweeted on Friday that Twitter would be forming a “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.”

“No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” Musk added.

Christina Ruffini contributed reporting.

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