As retail traders drove GameStop ($GME) to stratospheric heights on January 26 and 27 2021, chatter on ticker-centric sites spiked in volume; several social stock platforms displayed a purported tweet attributed to entrepreneur Elon Musk referencing $GME reaching $1000 per share:
In the above version from Reddit’s r/wallstreetbets, Musk (@elonmusk) was quoted as tweeting:
If $GME reach $1000 I will put the GameStop Logo on my next Rocket and launch it into space.Elon Musk Greatest Quotes on Technology (FUTURE of 2021)Elon Musk Greatest Quotes on Techno...
11:32 AM . Jan 27, 2021 . Twitter for iPhone
2.2K Retweets 296 Quote Tweets 109.9K Likes
Circulation of the tweet itself, Musk’s purported commentary, and the volatility of $GME were all part of a larger January 2021 viral stock frenzy.
What’s Going on with GameStop ($GME) in the Stock Market?
KnowYourMeme maintained a “GameStop Stock Surge” entry, explaining the meteoric rise of $GME in a fairly concise fashion:
GameStop Stock Surge or GameStop Short Squeeze refers to the massive surge in the price of of GameStop shares in the stock market in January 2021, when it rose from $17 to $158, in a significant degree due to a campaign by users in /r/WallStreetBets subreddit. The hype resulted in GameStop (GME) becoming of the most traded stocks on Wall Street that month, peaking at 200 million trades of the stock on January 22nd .
Did Elon Musk Have Anything to Do with the $GME Rally?
At 4:08 PM on January 26 2021 (four minutes after trading closed for the day), Musk tweeted a link to Reddit’s r/wallstreetbets:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2021
At 3:50 PM on January 26 2021, $GME was priced at about $145.97; after-hours trading was predictably volatile after Musk referenced the ticker. On January 27 2021, $GME opened at $290 even, peaking at just over $370 before fluctuating throughout the day.
‘If $GME Reach $1000 I Will Put the GameStop Logo on My Next Rocket’
Some commenters interpreted Musk’s Twitter mention of $GME as a primary reason its stock price soared between market close on January 26 2021 and market open on January 27 2021.
Just after 11 AM on January 27 2021, the screenshot appeared on r/wallstreetbets. However, that did not appear to be the first appearance of the same screenshot, which was purportedly tweeted at 11:32 AM on January 27 2021. At 11:29 AM on that date, the screenshot was shared to 4Chan’s /pol/ (archived), with the following text:
New tweet from Elon
If $GME reach $1000 i will put the GameStop Logo on my next Rocket and launch it into space.
An image of the purported tweet featured identical engagement numbers to the other versions circulating (indicating many users sharing the same screenshot, as was the case on StockTwits):
Counters on the bottom suggested the tweet received 2.2K retweets, and 296 quote tweets. However, a search for the string of words in the tweet returned no results, which would be highly unlikely if it was quoted nearly 300 times in the few minutes between its appearance on Twitter and it being shared to Reddit.
There was also no evidence the tweet appeared on Musk’s timeline. Likewise, a Google search for the string of words returned no results, which would not be the case had Musk tweeted and then deleted the content.
After Elon Musk genuinely acknowledged “meme stock” $GME (GameStop) on Twitter on January 26 2021, the stock’s price spiked in after hours trading and opened the following day at a much higher price. At around 11:30 on January 27 2021, a fake tweet attributed to Musk and pledging to put the GameStop logo on his “next Rocket” if the price hit $1000 per share appeared first on /pol/, before spreading to r/wallstreetbets and StockTwits. The tweet was fabricated, although Musk did tweet about $GME eight minutes after the closing bell the previous day.