No, Elon Musk is not named TIME's Person of the Year 2023

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
December 22 2023

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No, Elon Musk is not named TIME's Person of the Year 2023

Screenshots of the claim that Elon Musk was named Time's Person of the Year in 2023. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The photo is edited. Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift was named Time's Person of the Year for 2023, not Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Claim ID a30ca92a

What's the claim?

Multiple Facebook posts claim that Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk has been announced as TIME's Person Of The Year 2023. These posts show side-by-side images of a magazine cover featuring Musk's image under the "Person of the Year" banner and a photo of him holding his son, X Æ A-12.

The Person of the Year is an annual special edition of TIME magazine, which spotlights an individual, an entity, an idea, or an object that has, for better or worse, had the most influence on the events of the year.

One of the Facebook posts is captioned, "Breaking: Elon Musk Is Time's Person Of The Year 2023 Read more in the first comment." The first comment contains a link to an article from Daily News 1 Press with the headline: "Breaking: Elon Musk Is Time’s Person Of The Year 2023." An archived post can be found here.

Facebook posts claiming “Elon Musk Is Time's Person Of The Year 2023.” (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

The article (archived here)  begins by noting a "momentous turn of events," declaring Musk the 2023 Person of the Year. It acknowledges Musk's significant influence on technology, space exploration, and the automotive industry and talks about the work of the company he co-founded, Neuralink. It further explains why he was chosen as Time’s Person of the Year. 

However, the claims in the article and the Facebook posts are false. Taylor Swift was selected as Time's Person of the Year for 2023. Musk was not chosen for this recognition, nor was he shortlisted as a nominee for the title.

What are the facts?

On December 5, 2023, TIME announced that Taylor Swift, an American singer-songwriter, had been selected as the Person of the Year for 2023. The special issue showcases Time’s global covers featuring Swift, captured by photographers Inez and Vinoodh.

The TIME Magazine on the X platform also shared magazine covers with the caption: "Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) is TIME's 2023 Person of the Year."

(Source: X)

About the article and the images

According to the WhoIs database, the site called “Mindblown: a blog about philosophy” was created on December 6, 2023. The first post on the blog is also dated the same day.

Upon conducting a reverse image search on the image on the image that claims to show the TIME magazine cover, we found the cover of the December 13, 2021 edition of TIME, in which Musk was declared TIME's Person of the Year. The magazine cover featured in the viral post aligns precisely with the one showcased in the 2021 article. 

Comparison between the widely shared Facebook post cover in 2023 with the Time Person of the Year 2021 cover. (Source: Facebook/Time/Screenshot)

A reverse image search of the image of Musk holding his son showed the original image on Getty Images. The description reads, "NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: Elon Musk and son X Æ A-12 on stage at TIME Person of the Year on December 13, 2021, in New York City." The image is credited to Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME.

The verdict

The magazine cover from 2021, featuring Elon Musk as the Person of the Year, along with an image from the TIME Person of the Year event in 2021, has been circulated now, falsely suggesting that he also received the title in 2023. For 2023, Time's Person of the Year was Taylor Swift, not Musk. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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