Fact Check: Elon Musk Did NOT Offer Free Gold Bars To 10,000 People -- Video Has Been Altered With Fake Voiceover

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Elon Musk Did NOT Offer Free Gold Bars To 10,000 People -- Video Has Been Altered With Fake Voiceover Fake Audio

Does a video document an Elon Musk offer to give free gold bars to the first 10,000 people who respond to his offer? No, that's not true: The audio track of this video has been replaced with audio of a fake voice that resembles Elon Musk's. The video of Musk was taken from a remote video call to the stage of the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on February 15, 2023. During that appearance Musk did not promise to give away gold bars.

The altered video appears in a post on Facebook (archived here) by the page EtherealEpic on December 8, 2023. It was captioned:

Elon's $2100 Gold Bar Giveaway Has Started!
I'm back again with another crazy giveaway for you guys! This time we're giving away FREE Pure Gold Bars!

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

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Dec 12 14:28:18 2023 UTC)

In the altered video, which has text captioning added, it says in part:

Hello everyone, it's Elon Musk. I know times are tough right now and the holidays are just around the corner. I was just told that we will have a massive tax bill due to unexpected profits and instead of paying it I would rather give that same money to the hard working under appreciated American public. I will be giving free gold bars to the first 10,000 people who see this video.

This video has been altered with an artificial voiceover that sounds like Musk. The 39-second-long video also has several cuts and splices. Because of the number of splices, it is not practical to identify timestamps in the original 34:17-minute video where this footage came from. The original video, titled "A Conversation with Elon Musk 2.0," was posted on YouTube by the World Governments Summit channel on March 3, 2023. Musk's streamed video call appearance was projected on a large screen on the stage at the Dubai event on February 15, 2023, as reported in Fox Business.

Lead Stories conducted a text search of the original YouTube video transcript for the word "gold." It does not occur once. A Google search for the phrase "Elon Musk gold giveaway" (archived here) did not produce any results suggesting that there was a legitimate offer from Musk resembling this claim. That search did turn up a December 8, 2023, fact check published by USA Today debunking a nearly identical claim, featuring the same fake voiceover transcript -- only the voiceover was added to a video of Musk that originated from a TED talk, and the promise was a giveaway of 10,000 silver bars, rather than gold bars.

A search in the Meta ad library shows that this video is running currently in four sponsored posts. This post -- Library ID: 209162058899318 (pictured below) includes a link, societycoresitespot.com (archived here). This does not lead to information about a gold bar giveaway but, perplexingly, an AI-generated blogpost on "The Art of Paints: Exploring Colors and Techniques." Lead Stories used the Hive Moderation AI Generated text detection tool to analyze the paint article. It determined that there was a 99.9 percent chance the text was written by AI. It is likely that the paint article is presented to only some users and search engines, a practice called cloaking, in order to hide the fraudulent content that is displayed to other users.


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Dec 12 14:45:25 2023 UTC)

Additional Lead Stories fact checks debunking claims about Elon Musk can be found here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion