Hyderabad: The hashtag #RIPELON started trending on social media on 5 March and the news that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, was killed in a factory explosion spread like wildfire.
A few users shared images of a "news report" with the title "Elon Musk declared dead after Tesla Factory explosion".
Some Twitter users shared Musk's photo with somber messages. "Such a shame that Elon Musk died, I hope his spirit will continue to guide us through human innovation. #RIPElon," wrote one user.
Several shared only the hashtag, paying respects to the SpaceX founder.
The claim that Elon Musk is dead is FALSE.
The screenshots being shared online are not from genuine news articles. Newsmeter did not find any genuine articles confirming the viral claim. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, is alive and the fake news is being spread with malicious intent.
According to Teslarati.com, "The reasons behind the short-lived Elon Musk death hoax on social media remain unknown for now, though the #ripelon hashtag did appear to be a rather extensive effort by internet trolls. Other social media users speculated that the hoax might have been an effort to affect TSLA stock considering its recent volatility. Interestingly enough, TSLA stock did drop almost 6% within an hour of the hoax's spread."
This claim was also debunked by snopes.com, which confirmed that no official statements have been released by Tesla, SpaceX, or Musk's social media accounts.
The search for keywords Tesla factory explosion also did not fetch any genuine results. After the hashtag and news went viral, Elon Musk tweeted an eye roll emoji, making it clear that the news is false.
There is no truth in the news that Elon Musk is dead. He is alive and active. Hence, the viral claim is a HOAX.