Elon Musk’s X faces backlash over antisemitic content and ads

Elon Musk

X, the social media platform owned by billionaire Elon Musk, is facing a wave of criticism and advertiser boycotts over its handling of antisemitic content and ads. Musk himself has been accused of endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory on the platform, sparking outrage from Jewish groups and the White House.

Elon Musk

Musk agrees with a post that blames Jewish people for hatred

The controversy began on Nov. 15, when Musk replied to a post on X that read: “Jewish communities [sic] have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” Musk wrote that this was “the actual truth.”

His comment was widely condemned as antisemitic, as it echoed the white supremacist trope of “white genocide” that claims Jewish people are orchestrating the replacement of white people by non-white immigrants. This conspiracy theory was also the motive behind the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which killed 11 people.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish civil rights organization, denounced Musk’s endorsement of the post, saying it was “indisputably dangerous” and called on him to apologize and retract his statement. The White House also stated on Nov. 19, calling Musk’s comment “unacceptable” and “an abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate.”

Musk later denied being antisemitic, saying his comment referred not to all Jewish people, but to groups like the ADL, which he accused of “unjustly” attacking the majority of the West and being unable to criticize the “minority groups who are their primary threat.” He did not specify which minority groups he meant.

Media Matters exposes ads next to pro-Nazi content on X

On Nov. 18, Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog group, published a report that revealed how X, formerly known as Twitter, served ads from major brands such as Apple, IBM, Oracle, and Comcast next to content that praises Hitler and his Nazi Party. The report also showed how X allows users to post antisemitic conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial, and white nationalist propaganda without any moderation or removal.

The report prompted several advertisers to pause or suspend their spending on X, citing concerns over their brand safety and reputation. Among them were Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount, Lionsgate, the European Commission, and CNBC. Some of them said they were unaware of the content their ads were appearing next to and demanded answers from X.

Musk reacted angrily to the report, calling it a “fraudulent attack” on his company and threatening to file a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and anyone who colluded with them. He claimed that the report “completely misrepresented” the real user experience on X and that no “authentic” user saw the ads next to the hateful content.

X sues Media Matters for defamation

On Nov. 21, X filed a lawsuit against Media Matters in a federal court in Texas, accusing the group of defamation, business disparagement, and interference with its contracts and relationships with advertisers. The lawsuit alleges that Media Matters “knowingly and maliciously” manufactured images that depict advertisers’ posts on X next to neo-Nazi and white nationalist content and portrayed them as if they were what typical X users see on the platform.

The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order forcing Media Matters to remove the report and pay damages to X. It also names Eric Hananoki, the author of the report, as a co-defendant.

Media Matters responded to the lawsuit, calling it “frivolous” and “a bully tactic” to silence its reporting. The group said it stands behind its report and looks forward to winning in court. It also said that X’s lawsuit confirms the accuracy of its findings, as X did not dispute the existence of the antisemitic content and ads on its platform.

X faces an uncertain future amid controversy and criticism

X, which Musk bought for $44 billion in 2022, has been struggling to retain its users and advertisers amid growing competition and controversy. Musk has made several changes to the platform, such as reinstating former President Donald Trump’s account, offering verified badges to paying users and renaming it from Twitter to X.

However, these moves have not helped X to regain its popularity or profitability. Instead, they have alienated many of its existing users and attracted more extremists and trolls. X has also been criticized for its lax content moderation and user safety policies, which have allowed hate speech, misinformation, and harassment to flourish on the platform.

Musk’s latest comments and actions have further damaged X’s reputation and credibility, as well as his own. He has faced backlash from Jewish groups, civil rights organizations, political leaders, investors, and customers. Some have called for his resignation or suspension from his roles as CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, as well as X.

It remains to be seen whether X can survive this crisis and restore its trust and value in the social media market. As of now, X seems to be on a downward spiral, with no clear signs of recovery.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts