College student Ben Brody was accused online of being a federal agent pretending to be a neo-Nazi and organizing a false flag brawl.
In fact, he had nothing to do with the brawl, and was only dragged into that muck because he was misidentified as one of the combatants whose mask was torn off, and because he had once written on a website that he was interested in working for the government one day. Link to the article in Vice here.
Earlier this year, college student Ben Brody, 22, had his life turned upside down when he was accused of being a part of a Pacific Northwest neo-Nazi group. The claims occurred after a neo-Nazi had his mask pulled off when his group had a small brawl with local Proud Boys in Oregon City on June 24. The unmasked neo-Nazi bore a passing resemblance to Brody, who once wrote on a website for his Jewish fraternity that he wanted to work for the government.
That was enough for trolls, morons, and "the worst internet sleuths you could imagine" to make allegations on Twitter/X that Brody was a federal agent stirring up trouble by pretending to be a neo-Nazi.
It was also enough for noted Galaxy Brain Elon Musk to jump in with his two cents.
It wasn't too long after the false allegations about Brody began swirling on Twitter that Musk, the website's owner, replied with things like "very odd," and "always remove their masks" under several tweets falsely accusing Brody and sharing his personal information and photos. These responses, according to the lawsuit, drew much larger audiences to the defamatory tweets because of Musk's large following.
But that wasn't enough. Musk went on to comment favorably about a far-right website's accusations against Brody.
On June 27, after several days of amplifying other people's posts, the lawsuit states Musk personally committed defamation against Brody when responding to a news article by Zero Hedge—a far-right news outlet that was banned from using Google Ads in 2020 for its racist content and was integral in aiding the spreading of the Sandy Hook conspiracy—with the headline "Patriot Front 'White Supremacist' Unmasked As a Suspected Fed."
"Looks like one is a college student (who wants to join the govt) and another is maybe an Antifa member, but nonetheless a probable false flag situation," Musk wrote. The lawsuit states this is a clear nod toward Brody. The tweet has been viewed over 1.2 million times since it was posted and while the Zero Hedge post and article were deleted, Musk's remains up.
You can imagine the psychological and very real effects of being a young man starting out in the world and having the richest man in the world, with the world's biggest megaphone, make this kind of accusation against you to millions of people.
Musk has a terrible track record when he draws attention to and approves of ridiculous false conspiracy theories that turn out to be false, always erring in favor of a right-wing narrative, of course.
Last fall, after Paul Pelosi was attacked by a man with a hammer, Musk shared misinformation from a famously dubious site (the same one he commented on with Brody) claiming the attacker was Pelosi's gay lover. In May, following a mass shooting in an outlet mall in Texas by a far-right gunman that killed eight people, Musk claimed [evidence that the shooter was a white supremacist] was "a psyop" and that Bellingcat, the outlet that broke the story, "specializes in psychological operations."