Elon Musk’s tweets about Texas mall gunman spread misleading claims, question shooter’s background

Elon Musk, the proprietor of Twitter, is being accused of spreading misleading claims about the neo-Nazi gunman responsible for the mass shooting at a Dallas-area shopping center on Saturday. The incident has caused a stir on Twitter. (AP) WASHINGTON —

Musk has questioned whether the man identified by authorities as the shooter, Mauricio Garcia, really had an account on a Russian social media platform that suggested the shooting could be a psychological operation or “psyop” which misled the public about the true details of the shooting.

“RWDS,” an abbreviation that represents “Right Wing Death Squad,” was the attire he had on when Garcia was killed by the police. Both authorities and independent researchers have verified the existence of an interest in far-right extremism and white supremacism. Garcia proudly displayed Nazi tattoos and expressed his white supremacist views on social media.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Hank Sibley, the Regional Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, stated, “He possessed patches and tattoos.” It is confirmed that he harbored neo-Nazi beliefs.

Musk’s internet supporters unleashed a wave of bullying towards Bellingcat, but this assault resulted in Bellingcat being bombarded with harassment from Musk’s online followers. When Musk tweeted that Bellingcat “focuses on psychological manipulation,” he provided no proof to substantiate his allegation. Musk also questioned the credibility of Bellingcat, a Netherlands-centered research organization that disclosed details about Garcia’s internet past.

In another instance, Musk wrote, “This becomes more peculiar with each passing moment.” Musk expressed his astonishment in a tweet that was seen by over 3 million people, with comments implying that he was skeptical. Musk also commented on the disclosure of the shooter’s ideology, calling it either the most bizarre story ever or a poorly executed psychological operation!

According to the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, an Alabama-based nonprofit organization that tracks online extremist groups, Garcia’s online history reveals that he held deep-seated negative views towards people of Jewish descent, individuals of color, and women. He conducted an analysis of his posts, which included an analysis of people from these demographics.

The organization concluded in its report that the term “incel,” largely used by an online movement blaming men for women’s lack of romantic and sexual opportunities, refers to “involuntarily celibate.” The diary entries and posts by Garcia reveal deep-seated beliefs of misogyny, as well as a proclivity for violence and views aligned with neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideologies. This goes back 10 years.

As of Wednesday, there were no community annotations appended to Musk’s personal Tweets regarding the shooter. However, a recently introduced Twitter function known as “community notes” was developed to enable users to incorporate additional information or verify claims on their own. Musk has subsequently emerged as a purveyor of false information and has downsized a significant portion of the Twitter workforce dedicated to identifying falsehoods and harmful content.

Twitter, in its usual manner, responded with an automated email containing solely the feces emoji and refrained from addressing inquiries regarding Musk’s deceptive tweets.

Musk was not the sole prominent user disseminating false assertions about the gunman on Twitter.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Dismissed Garcia’s self-proclaimed racist beliefs, emphasizing that he was Latino and suggesting that only unintelligent individuals of Caucasian descent would accept the notion that a Mexican gang member is committing acts of violence in the name of white supremacy.

Enrique Tarrio, a Cuban American, serves as the ex-chief of the Proud Boys, a prominent far-right organization within the country. Certain such groups have developed Spanish-language editions of their online platforms, while white supremacist organizations have persistently attempted to enlist Latinos. Greene’s Tweet disregards this reality.