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A map circulating on social media purports to show that billionaire Elon Musk’s private jet had once flown to the notorious island owned by deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But it turns out the map isn’t actually real.
The fiasco began last week after Musk banned the account @ElonJet, which used publicly available data to track the whereabouts of his plane, as well as numerous journalists who reported on the account’s removal.
Musk argued that highlighting the @ElonJet account constituted “doxxing” given that provided the internet with what he described as “assassination coordinates.” Although the journalists’ accounts were eventually reinstated, some Twitter users had already begun to claim that Musk’s opposition to @ElonJet was centered around a map showing Musk’s plane flying to Epstein’s Little St. James island.
“For those wondering what Elon has to hide by deleting #elonjet Elon visited Epstein 12x up until his death,” one account claimed. “But according to Elon he never knew him and was photo bombed by Maxwell. Truth tells a different story and according to Twitter TOS old history of flight tracking is okay.”
A Twitter user named Keith Edwards, who once worked for the anti-Trump organization known as the Lincoln Project, also shared the image.
“This is old data from Elon’s jet, so it’s ok to share,” he said.
The image also made its way to Reddit, where users similarly passed off the map as legitimate.
“Seeing that he visited that place makes me feel ill,” one Redditor responded. “So abhorrent…”
But the individual who first shared the map, a Twitter user known as @wawajawn, quickly admitted that he had faked the entire thing as a joke.
“Lmao, no wonder there is so much disinformation online. This shit is easy,” @wawajawn said of the map going viral.
It also doesn’t help that the island does not have an airport to begin with.
Although Musk did admit to briefly meeting Epstein once in New York, the new Twitter CEO asserted that he turned down repeated invitations to visit the island.
Why it matters
Musk’s increasingly outlandish behavior since purchasing Twitter has earned him many critics, which is exactly why the fake map was as successful as it was. Internet users must always question when such claims are made, especially if it involves an individual they are opposed to.