X fact-checking bot reports Elon Musk for lying, literally

The billionaire published a photoshopped image of an asylum-seeker misidentified as a suspect in a Times Square assault on police officers.

Elon Musk, the billionnaire entrepreneur who owns the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), has been flagged by the X fact-checking bot for a post falsely claiming that a 22-year-old immigrant named Jhoan Boada had been involved in a January gang assault on police officers in Times Square, New York City. 

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“Illegals beat up American police officers in Times Square, got out of jail for free and, instead of being deported, were given free tickets to California… Why?” Musk wrote in comments to a photoshopped picture showing President Joe Biden awarding a medal to Boada, who’s showing his middle fingers for the cameras.

While Boada, an asylum-seeker from Venezuela, was indeed present in Times Square during the melee against two NYPD officers, he did not take part in the 27 January 2024 fight; he was cleared of all charges and released, the New York District Attorney office said.

It was Marcelino Estee, wearing a black & white jacket, who committed the assault, along with other men, the prosecutors announced after examining new video records from the scene. Several of them were immigrants. 

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As he walked out of police custody, Boada showed his middle fingers to paparazzi, enraging thus a part of the public.

Nonetheless, Elon Musk has not returned with an apology or update to his post. The X fact-checking bot, which the platform runs to counter fake news and disinformation, rated the post as dubious and provided content to clarify the situation.

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