New Twitter owner Elon Musk shared a conspiracy theory about US politician Nancy Pelosi’s husband on Sunday. He was recently attacked by a burglar with a hammer. In response to a Hillary Clinton tweet, Musk shared a fake report.
Tesla boss Elon Musk officially took over the short message service Twitter on Friday. Now, just two days later, Musk caused outrage with a tweet. In response to a tweet from Hillary Clinton, Musk shared an article containing an extremist and homophobic conspiracy theory about the attack on US politician Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
Police say Paul Pelosi was attacked with a hammer during a late-night break-in at the couple’s California home. Among other things, he suffered a fractured skull. Pelosi himself was in Washington at the time. Musk responded to a tweet from former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Sunday.
She had written that the Republicans and their mouthpieces would spread hatred and conspiracy theories. Below that, Clinton linked an article from the Los Angeles Times reporting that alleged Pelosi attacker David DePape had previously spread conspiracy theories from the right-wing conspiracy group QAnon.
Musk then linked to a report from a site called the Santa Monica Observer, writing, “There’s a tiny possibility that there’s more to this story than meets the eye.” The source shared by Musk wrote that nobody in Pelosis house was broken into, but that Paul Pelosi was drunk that night and also had an affair with a male sex worker.
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The newspaper is not considered a reliable source. In 2016 she reported, among other things, that Hillary Clinton had died and that a double should have taken over her then presidential campaign. There is no evidence for the thesis of the article, but it is already being eagerly disseminated in republican circles.
The uproar following Musk’s tweet, which portrays himself as a “free speech absolutist, is great. “If that’s what Musk stands for, we’re in trouble…” US author Marianne Williamson wrote to her 2.7 million followers. Another user wrote: “If Elon Musk started the rumor that Paul Pelosi was dating men, all serious advertisers should leave this site.” Deleting Twitter accounts since owning it and it’s only going to get worse.”
The new Twitter owner had given as one reason for the takeover that freedom of speech was too restricted there. Most recently, however, Musk wrote in an open letter to advertisers that Twitter should not become a “place of horror” where everything could be said without consequences. The service must be “warm and welcoming to all”.
Musk has often pushed boundaries with provocative tweets. In February, for example, he caused outrage with a post he shared about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Alongside a photo of Adolf Hitler, the tweet read: “Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau. I had a household.” Musk then deleted the tweet.