It looks like Elon Musk‘s spread of politically charged conspiracy theories on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, has finally landed him in some legal trouble.
On Monday, attorney Mark Bankston of the law firm Farrar & Ball announced on Musk’s own social media platform that he has filed a lawsuit against Musk on behalf of Ben Brody, a 22-year-old recent college graduate from California.
In June, Musk had helped spread wild conspiracy theories falsely accusing Brody of being a “fed” or federal agent who was supposedly posing as a neo-Nazi, leading to the doxxing and harassment of the young man and his family.
As first reported by The Huffington Post, Brody is seeking more than $1 million in damages. Brody’s attorney, Bankston, is likely best known for winning $45 million in damages for Sandy Hook parents against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who had spread false claims that the 2012 school shooting that left 26 dead was a hoax.
Musk’s comments were related to a viral video posted online that showed a street fight between the far-right group Proud Boys and a neo-Nazi group known as Rose City Nationalists. During the brawl, one of the neo-Nazis was unmasked, leading to an online hunt for the identity of the individual.
Musk based his assessment that the unmasked neo-Nazi was Brody based on claims by other conspiratorial and right-wing accounts that Musk frequently interacts with. These claims seemed entirely based on opinions from individuals who found Brody’s Instagram and thought he looked like the neo-Nazi unmasked in the video. The lawsuit specifically names X users like Matt Wallace, a crypto promoter and conspiracy theorist, and Zero Hedge, a conspiratorial website, as accounts that Musk interacted with to disseminate the false claims about Brody.
Right-wing users of then-Twitter and other Musk fans proceeded to spread these conspiracies, leading to Brody and his family being doxxed and harassed, and eventually forcing Brody and his family to flee their home.
Brody, who also happens to be Jewish, was not even in the state of Oregon where the brawl between the Proud Boys and the neo-Nazi group had occurred at the time. Brody, his friends, and others on Twitter attempted to refute the claims from Musk and others by posting security camera footage and receipts placing Brody in a restaurant in California at the time the brawl video was taken. Unfortunately, their attempts were fruitless as the false claims and harassment against Brody continued.
In a thread on X, Bankston broke down exactly what Musk said about Brody that resulted in the lawsuit. While Musk had continued to push right-wing narratives about the brawl, according to Bankston, he defamed Brody when he officially referred to the college grad.
“Looks like one is a college student (who wants to join the govt) and another is maybe an Antifa member, but a probable false flag situation,” Musk tweeted in response to a Zero Hedge post about the unmasked individual. In his post, Musk is referring to Brody and the right-wing conspiracy that the neo-Nazi group was made up of federal agents.
The lawsuit also references Musk’s propensity to spread lies, like when he accused British cave diver Vernon Unsworth of being a “pedo guy,” and conspiracy theories, such as the time he shared homophobic allegations in the aftermath of the home attack against U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
This lawsuit comes just days after Musk’s handpicked CEO for X, Linda Yaccarino, was interviewed at a tech conference that has been widely panned by the industry as being a disaster. During the interview, Yaccarino also shared new analytics for the platform that shows that X has lost millions of daily active users since Musk acquired the company last year.
Elon Musk is facing a lawsuit filed by attorney Mark Bankston on behalf of Ben Brody, a recent college graduate. Musk had spread conspiracy theories accusing Brody of being a federal agent posing as a neo-Nazi, leading to the doxxing and harassment of Brody and his family. Brody is seeking more than $1 million in damages. Musk based his claims on opinions from other right-wing accounts and interacted with X users such as Matt Wallace and Zero Hedge to disseminate false claims about Brody. These conspiracy theories were spread by right-wing users and Musk’s fans, resulting in the harassment and displacement of Brody and his family. Brody, who is Jewish, was not even present at the location where the video involving the neo-Nazi group occurred. Despite attempts to refute the claims, the false allegations and harassment against Brody continued. The lawsuit also references Musk’s history of spreading lies and conspiracy theories. This legal trouble comes after X, formerly known as Twitter, lost millions of daily active users since Musk acquired the company.