If you were scrolling through Twitter and happened across Elon Musk’s photo of a chocolate brownie sundae, you’d be forgiven for thinking he had just eaten a chocolate brownie sundae.
Although that *may* be the case, he didn’t actually eat the one he posted a photo of.
This is because the brownie sundae in question is actually from a food blogger in 2017.
Let’s compare the two.
On 20 February 2017, Instagram account @theepisodiceater posted a photo of Buca di Beppo’s “Colossal Brownie Sundae” at West 3rd Street in Los Angeles, California.
Buca di Beppo liked the photo so much, they reposted it to their Instagram account that same day and then to their Twitter account on 24 March – that same year.
The post clearly also caught the attention of Elon Musk, who tweeted the exact same photo on Monday evening with the caption:
He followed it up with a tweet saying “Life should be lived”.
But when asked “What place in the bay area did you get that”, he responded:
The original photo was not taken in the Bay Area, it was taken in, as previously mentioned, West 3rd Street in Los Angeles.
This is around a six-hour drive away.
So how do we know it’s the exact same photo? The original food blogger’s name is watermarked on the table cover (in between the two tables) of Musk’s photo.
At the time of writing, dining in at the West 3rd Street Buca di Beppo restaurant is impossible as it's temporarily closed due to coronavirus.
In fact, the only two Buca di Beppo restaurants in the Bay Area are also closed for dine-in options.
On the original food blogger’s Instagram post, people replied in disbelief at Elon Musk using the photo without giving credit:
FYI Elon Musk just tweeted this photo as if he took it himself.
While another commented:
Elon didn’t even give you photo credits.
The Episodic Eater replied to the latter:
Thanks for telling me! It happens all the time, but I don’t usually know because it’s not someone with millions of followers who uses my photos. This time, I’ve definitely been informed!
Musk is yet to publicly address the claims he used someone else’s photos.