08:28 GMT11 April 2021
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    The tech maverick, who is known for his almost majestic ability to influence the value of stocks with a single tweet, recently lost the title of the world’s richest person after Tesla’s shares fell 20 percent. The sudden drop wiped $15.2 billion from Musk’s net worth.

    Have you heard that Elon Musk died? Last week, the Tesla CEO joined the long list of celebrities who have fallen victim to death hoaxes. The 49-year-old "passed away" after an explosion rocked a Tesla factory producing lithium batteries. Sounds silly, right? Well, a report from CleanTechnica suggests that this was not simply a goofy Internet rumour, but a coordinated campaign that involved a lot of effort and premeditation.

    It wasn't only ordinary users who took the bait.

    ​But even the fact-checking website Snopes and several media outlets reported on Musk’s fake death.

    ​CleanTechnica writes that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should investigate the hoax, as Tesla's stocks took a big hit after social media users started "mourning" Musk and then saw a quick rise after the hoax was disproved. Although there is no evidence that the death hoax was responsible for the volatility, the very idea that someone could use fake news to influence stock prices is quite concerning, writes CleanTechnica.

    stocks, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), FBI, Elon Musk
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