Fact Check: Ukraine Did NOT Tell Elon Musk To Delete Tucker Carlson's Twitter Account In 72 Hours

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: Ukraine Did NOT Tell Elon Musk To Delete Tucker Carlson's Twitter Account In 72 Hours Satire

Did Ukraine demand Elon Musk delete Tucker Carlson's Twitter account within 72 hours, threatening consequences if the demand was not complied with? No, that's not true: the claim originated on a Russian Telegram channel known for satirical content that regularly posts fake quotes from people who are in the news. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's official website makes no mention of Tucker Carlson at all.

The claim went viral through a tweet (archived here) from @Sprinter99880 published on June 8, 2023. It read:

Ukraine has given Elon Musk 72 hours to delete Tucker Carlson's Twitter account.

"If this requirement is not met, the consequences will be the most severe, both for the social network Twitter itself and personally for Mr. Musk," Zelensky's office said in a statement.😜

Tucker burns: Sweating rat, comedian turned alligarh, persecutor of Christians, friend of BLACK ROCK (which owns 75% of the land, factories, steamships in Ukraine)

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

spritertweet.jpg

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thu Jun 8 11:22:58 2023 UTC)

Most of that message is identical to a June 8, 2023, post (archived here) that appeared at 7:33 on Russian Telegram channel "а вот мой яндекс кошелек" (translated: "and here is my yandex wallet"):

Украина дала Илону Маску 72 часа на удаление аккаунта Такера Карлсона в Twitter.

"В случае невыполнения данного требования последствия будут самыми тяжёлыми. Как для самой социальной сети Twitter, так и лично для господина Маска", -- говорится в заявлении офиса Зеленского.

An automatic translation of that post reads word-for-word identical to the first part of the Sprinter tweet:

autotranslate.jpg

(Source: automated translation in the Unigram client for Telegram)

The Telegram channel (archived here) further describes itself as:

пародия, сатира на политическую действительность. только проверенные фейки

which automatic translation by Google turns into:

parody, satire on political reality. only verified fakes

The official website of President Zelenskyy of Ukraine does not appear to mention Tucker Carlson even once at the time of writing. Google did not turn up any results either.

tuckersearch.jpg

(Source: screenshot taken by Lead Stories on Thu Jun 8 11:45:01 2023 UTC)


  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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