Elon Musk mugs and holds his fists above his head as if in victory.

Elon Musk Seems To Be Deleting Notes That Fact-Check His Ramblings

Elon Musk is at it again, using his tremendously pervasive and influential worldwide platform to shitpost and spread rumors with the potential to cause harm to public health. He also appears to possibly be deleting fact-check posts that refute his wild claims, which is a little funny given his self-proclaimed dedication to the idea of free speech. 

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After the news broke Monday that University of Southern California basketball player Bronny James, who is LeBron James’ son, had been hospitalized because of a cardiac arrest he suffered during basketball practice, Musk decided the best thing to do was hop on the internet to spread unfounded rumors about the COVID-19 vaccine. Because after about three years of people arguing online about COVID vaccines, it hasn’t gotten frustrating enough, right?

“We cannot ascribe everything to the vaccine, but, by the same token, we cannot ascribe nothing,” Musk tweeted regarding James’ cardiac event. “Myocarditis is a known side-effect. The only question is whether it is rare or common.” It’s unclear why Musk felt the need to connect the heart attack with his uninformed opinions about the vaccine or why he tweeted about it, or if he remembered for even a second that there is a very real young human being at the center of this story—but soon after he did, his claim was fact-checked by Twitter’s community notes feature. 

“Studies show that the risk of myocarditis is significantly higher after an actual Covid infection than with the vaccine,” the note said, citing multiple sources. “Among adolescent boys, the risk of myocarditis following a Covid infection was approximately twice that of the risk following the second vaccine dose.” 

So Musk got burned pretty badly by the fact-checking function of his own company and soon after, wouldn’t you know it, that note disappeared. Does that mean he deleted the note? Did his staff remove it? It’s not totally clear but it was gone by Tuesday evening. Twitter’s website says, “As a Tweet author if you disagree that a Community Note provides important context about your Tweet, you can request additional review,” so does that mean Musk submitted the note for his own review and found it wanting?

The rules page also says that community notes “…cannot be edited or modified by our teams,” but doesn’t specifically address removal. 

For some further context, the CDC has indeed reported some association of myocarditis with COVID-19 vaccines, but it was “rarely reported,” and the risks of the disease “far outweigh the potential risks” of the vaccine. James has not been confirmed to have experienced myocarditis. 

(featured image: Chesnot/Getty Images)


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Cammy Pedroja
Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.