Tech mogul Elon Musk is facing a lawsuit filed by a Texas resident who claims that being misidentified by Musk in a social media post had led to him being harassed and doxed.
The lawsuit, filed in Travis County, Texas, alleges that Ben Brody, a 22-year-old, was wrongly associated with a brawl between the far-right Proud Boys and a rival hardcore group during an Oregon pride event in June.
A video, posted on X shortly after the event on June 24, showed Proud Boys fighting with Rose City Nationalists, many of whom had masks on. Several users accused Mr. Brody of being a member of the Rose City Nationalists.
On June 26, a conservative X user named Matt Wallace posted a photo of one of the unmasked Rose City Nationalists, identifying the protestor as Mr. Brody and accusing him of being a federal agent based on Mr. Brody’s interest in working for the government.
“Remember When They Called Us Conspiracy Theorists For Saying The Feds Were Planting Fake Nazis at Rallies?” the post reads.
Musk responded to the claim with “Always remove their masks.”
After being made aware of the accusations, Mr. Brody posted a video to debunk the claims made by conservatives and Musk. In the video, he provided evidence that he wasn’t in Oregon at the time and was actually in California. Mr. Musk was tagged several times in the video, but he did not respond or retract his statements.
The next day, Mr. Musk repeated the claim in a reply to a post that has since been deleted: “Looks like one is a college student (who wants to join the govt) and the other is maybe an Antifa member, but nonetheless a probable false flag situation.”
Despite the original post being erased, Musk’s post remains on the site.
According to the lawsuit, Mr. Brody and his family faced threats as a result of Musk’s posts. The lawsuit also claims that Mr. Brody was the victim of doxing, where a user’s personal information is leaked online, after Musk amplified the conspiracy theories.
“Ben’s lawsuit discusses the aftermath of this incident,” Mr. Brody’s lawyer Mark Bankston wrote on X. “Ben and his family were doxed and suffered an enormous wave of harassment and threats from belligerent strangers.”
Mr. Brody is seeking a jury trial in Texas as well as damages of at least $1 million.