Elon Musk lies.

Elon Musk is known for making wild and entirely unverified claims about emerging technologies. Claims that capture headlines but (in almost every case) lack supporting evidence and eventually fail to materialise. The latest example is his unsubstantiated claim that Neuralink - his brain-computer interface company - has implanted its first chip in a human.

Despite providing no evidence of this milestone, and without any 3rd party verification, the claim was quickly republished by major news outlets without scrutiny or confirmation. Journalists (or, more charitably, their editors) have once again eagerly provided publicity to Musk in the pursuit of advertising traffic to their sites, failing in their basic journalistic responsibility to fact-check. To question. To scrutinise. To ask for the truth.

The same naive credulity was apparent when Musk claimed fully self-driving Tesla cars were right around the corner, a feat which, years later, has still not been achieved. His statements that he would develop a hyperloop transit system able to move passengers at 700mph have similarly made breathless headlines but have yet to yield functioning technology. And his highly optimistic timelines for establishing a human colony on Mars have been constant fodder for news stories, despite the immense financial and technical barriers.

In all these cases, journalists have played an unfortunate role in providing a platform for claims lacking substantiation. Republishing attention-grabbing statements without verification contributes to potential misinformation and distorted perceptions of technological progress. The personality-driven cult of Musk too often overrides a careful, conscientious journalistic process.

After a long track record of releasing inaccurate, wildly misinformed statements, factually false claims and unreliable projections, we can infer a simple, if uncomfortable, truth. Elon Musk fucking lies.

The onus should be on the media to confirm or disprove the man’s remarkable claims rather than parroting them as headlines. Especially on topics with technical complexity or potentially society-changing implications, establishing the truth and the current state of technology must be prioritised over clickbait. Standards of evidence should be enforced rather than mindlessly propagating the latest Musk soundbite.

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