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Fact Check: Musk has not announced plans to buy Snapchat, viral screenshot is fake

Had Elon Musk announced his intentions to buy Snapchat on Twitter, it would have made headlines in the mainstream media.

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The claim is false.

By Riddhish Dutta: Twitter has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since Elon Musk bought the social media company. Musk’s policy changes have been criticised by ex-employees, users of the site, politicians, and more. As the future of the website hangs by a thread, many online have begun claiming that Musk is now eyeing another social media app: Snapchat.

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Many shared a screenshot of a tweet allegedly made by Musk. It read, "Next I'm buying Snapchat and deleting all the filters. Welcome back to reality, ladies."

This screenshot was shared by many on Facebook and Twitter . It was even reported as news on the website Modern Ghana.

AFWA's investigation, however, found that the screenshot of the tweet is a fake one. Musk has not made such an announcement.

AFWA PROBE

Had Elon Musk announced his intentions to buy Snapchat on Twitter, it would have made headlines in the mainstream media. We, however, could not find any relevant reports from reputable media outlets. Subsequently, we checked Musk's Twitter account.

Per the viral screenshot, Musk tweeted about this on November 20. However, when we checked, we did not find any such tweet from that date. On November 20, Musk made three tweets and retweeted two videos.

The three tweets he made were about the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the reinstation of Donald Trump on Twitter, and one about Twitter itself. We also looked for an archived version of Musk's tweets on November 20 but did not find anything on or about Snapchat there.

With the help of an advanced keyword search, we came across only one tweet made by Musk that featured the word "Snapchat" in it. On May 22, he tweeted in a response to a Twitter user: “This would be a super bad idea, since stocks can swing wildly from one day to the next, eg Snapchat dropping 43%. Tesla is ~40% below ATH! However, eliminating estate tax dodges like GRATs would be good, since the probability of kids being effective stewards of capital is lower.”

Examining the viral screenshot

We compared the viral screenshot with tweets and found several inconsistencies in terms of its look. The most immediately visible difference was in the profile picture of Elon Musk. His avatar in the viral screenshot sees him wearing sunglasses. That’s not the same as his current Twitter avatar.

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Apart from that, the time and date stamps align with the text — something that’s standard in tweets. While a dot features between the standard time and date format in tweets, the viral screenshot contained a hyphen instead of it. Additionally, the date in the viral post read "NOV 20". But the month format on Twitter is usually not in the upper case. It’s in the title case.

Thus, it became clear that the viral screenshot was digitally manipulated to spread a false claim.

(With inputs from Sanjana Saxena)

INDIA TODAY FACT CHECK

Fact Check Says:
False

Claim:

On November 20, Elon Musk tweeted that he will buy the social media platform Snapchat and then delete all its filters.

Conclusion

This screenshot was digitally altered. Elon Musk has not said or tweeted anything about buying Snapchat as of yet.

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