Elon Musk's Tweet Amplifies False Identity Accusation, Sends College Grad And Mother Into Hiding

Zinger Key Points
  • Ben Brody, falsely identified as a neo-Nazi involved in an Oregon brawl, was forced into hiding.
  • Elon Musk amplified the conspiracy theory in a tweet, escalating the situation.

A conspiracy spread on social media and exacerbated by Twitter owner Elon Musk forced a recent college graduate and his mother into hiding.

What Happened: Ben Brody, 22, found himself at the center of a storm after he was wrongly identified as a neo-Nazi involved in a far-right brawl during an Oregon City pride festival, an event that took place over 850 miles away from his home in California, according to Vice News.

Brody, a political science grad from UC Riverside, had innocuously mentioned on his Instagram, managed by his Jewish fraternity, his aspiration to work for the government one day.

According to the Vice report, that minor detail was seized by "right-wing conspiracy theorists," who alleged that Brody was a federal agent masquerading as a neo-Nazi to discredit their movement.

As Brody and his mother sat oblivious at a baseball game on June 25, a digital storm was brewing. Upon realizing the gravity of the situation — their home address being leaked online — Brody and his mother abandoned their house for the night, fearing for their safety.

“It was terrifying,” Brody told Vice.

The conspiracy was amplified on June 27 when Musk commented on the situation.

In response to a tweet from Zero Hedge — a finance website run by former U.S. investment banker Daniel Ivandjiiski — Musk said, “Looks like one is a college student (who wants to join the government) and another is maybe an Antifa member, but nonetheless a probably false flag situation.”

Despite Zero Hedge deleting the tweet, Musk’s tweet remains up, having been viewed 1.2 million times.

Read also: Elon Musk’s 75-Year-Old Mother Says She Sleeps on ‘Mattresses Or Blankets On The Floor Or In The Garage’ When She Visits Her Son

"I'm being confused with someone who looks similar to me," Brody said in a June 26 video posted on Twitter from an account made in the same month. "I've never been to Oregon City for any protest whatsoever."

Despite video evidence proving he was in California at the time of the incident, according to Vice, some continue to push the narrative.

Vice said it confirmed with multiple sources that Brody has no ties to the far-right groups involved in the Oregon incident. Still, the aftermath of the ordeal left the recent college graduate concerned about potential impacts on his future career prospects due to the false accusations still circulating online.

Read next: Microsoft-Activision Deal Roadblock Lifted As Judge Denies FTC’s Injunction Request

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