The claim: An image shows a tweet from Elon Musk that says he will shut down Twitter
Billionaire tech titan Elon Musk will acquire control of Twitter in a $44 billion deal announced April 25. But some social media users claim Musk wants to end the platform altogether.
A Facebook post shared April 25 shows a screenshot of a tweet Musk purportedly shared the same day.
“Now that I bought Twitter I’m going to shut it down…get outside,” reads the tweet, which supposedly generated close to 950,000 likes and 136,000 retweets.
Follow us on Facebook! Like our page to get updates throughout the day on our latest debunks
The Facebook post received more than 50,000 interactions and 10,000 shares in two days. Similar posts have amassed hundreds of interactions on Facebook.
But the image of the purported tweet is altered. USA TODAY found no evidence the tweet in the post exists or that Musk said he will shut down the platform.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the claim for comment.
Tweet is fabricated
USA TODAY did not find the purported tweet on Musk’s official Twitter account. No archived versions of the tweet exist either.
Musk has also not voiced any plans to shut down the platform in credible news reports, press releases or social media posts.
Musk said in an April 25 press release that he wants to promote free speech on Twitter – a plan he spoke of in a 2022 TEDx talk when he first announced his bid for the company. Mark Levin, Azealia Banks and other popular figures have recently returned to Twitter after the acquisition was announced.
Fact check: Trump remains suspended on Twitter; tweet circulating online is fabricated
Musk said his goals also include “making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans,” according to the press release.
USA TODAY reached out to Musk for comment.
Our rating: Altered
Based on our research, we rate ALTERED an image that claims to show a tweet from Musk about shutting down Twitter. The tweet in the Facebook post does not exist, and Musk has not announced any plans to shut down the platform.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, April 25, ‘Did we just lose?’: Twitter users react to Elon Musk buying the social media platform
- Elon Musk, accessed April 26, Twitter profile page
- USA TODAY, April 21, Fact check: Trump remains suspended on Twitter; tweet circulating online is fabricated
- Twitter, April 25, Press release: Elon Musk to Acquire Twitter
- USA TODAY, April 26, Which celebrities are leaving Twitter, and which ones are returning after Elon Musk’s takeover?
- The Washington Post, April 25, Why did Elon Musk buy Twitter?
- TEDx Talk, April 14, Elon Musk talks Twitter, Tesla and how his brain works — live at TED2022
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.
Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.