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Why the 1,022 fake SpaceX employees from China could be part of an elaborate scam

spacex 1000
  • A rumor that Elon Musk’s SpaceX employs over 1,000 Tsinghua University graduates became a trending topic on Chinese social media in July.
  • The figure used in the story came from search results on the professional networking platform LinkedIn, which showed that 1,022 of SpaceX’s 9,780 employees (10.44%) were Tsinghua graduates.
  • However, it did not take long for internet sleuths to figure out that they were fake accounts as most of them contained near-identical descriptions.
  • As soon as the fraudulent LinkedIn accounts were exposed, many speculated that they had been used in an elaborate online scheme called the “Pig Butchering Scam.”
  • According to the FBI, “The fraud is named for the way scammers feed their victims with promises of romance and riches before cutting them off and taking all their money.”
  • Grace Yuen of the volunteer group Global Anti-Scam Org (GASO) told MIT Technology Review: “Scammers started moving to LinkedIn maybe after dating sites tried to crack down on them, [like] ​​Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder.”

A rumor claiming that US spacecraft company SpaceX employs over 1,000 Tsinghua University graduates that spread on Chinese social media in July actually revealed an elaborate online scam.

The figure, as it turned out, came from search results on the professional networking platform LinkedIn. 

Chinese American employee claims coworkers taped their desk with biohazard sign, caution tape as ‘prank’

LinkedIn post

A LinkedIn post went viral after blasting a corporate workplace’s white employees for allegedly “pranking” a Chinese American coworker’s desk with a biohazard sign and caution tape.

Just a “prank”: On Monday, Yeong Cheng, cofounder of the support group Denver Asian Collective, posted about the February 2020 incident on LinkedIn on behalf of the Chinese American employee. Throughout the post, the employee is referred to by the pseudonym “Jess” with they/them pronouns.

LinkedIn May Owe You Up To $1500 — Here’s How to Get the Cash

Individuals who used the professional networking site LinkedIn between 2011 to 2014 may be able to file a claim against the company worth up to $1,500.

The payout comes as part of a settlement the company agreed to in resolving the $13 million class-action lawsuit filed against them in 2013 for enabling an “Add Connections” feature that violated their terms of services.

This Man Bought For Just $12 and Then Owned It For an Entire Minute

An ex-employee at Google bought sole ownership of the domain name “,” but was relieved of his hosting powers after only one minute.

Sanmay Ved worked for Google for five and a half years before leaving to get his MBA. While he was searching around in Google Domains late one night, he noticed that the domain was available for purchase.

That Awkward Moment a Startup Bro Asks LinkedIn’s Founder Why His Product Sucks

It’s tough to be one of the most respected entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley when startup bros try to call you out for having a confusing product.

Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn, had an awkward interaction last week at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference when one Jourdan Urbach, the CTO of social video platform Ocho, asked a sort of non-question aimed at telling Hoffman how badly LinkedIn was designed. After a sharp breath and some nervous laughter, Hoffman attempted to give the kid and the crowd a straight answer.