Elon Musk encouraged extremists and white supremacists throughout his year-long tenure as owner of X, formerly Twitter, but this week he still managed to push the boundaries of mainstream user behavior – And advertisers – will tolerate.
On Wednesday, Musk approved a post from an X user accusing Jewish communities of spreading “dialectical hatred against white people.” The statement itself was a response to another X post sharing a PSA video from the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism as well as criticism of anonymous users posting “Hitler was right” online.
“I am deeply disinterested in worrying about any bullshit now about Western Jewish populations who are worryingly realizing that these hordes of minorities who [they supported] those who flood their country don’t really like them,” user X wrote in response. “You want the truth to be told to your face, here it is.”
Musk replied: “You told the real truth. »
The post that Musk did his best to praise invoked the same thing white nationalist conspiracy theory married Tree of Life Synagogue shooter Robert Bowers. Minutes before the shooting, Bowers posted on the far-right social media site Gab that the American Jewish nonprofit HIAS, which provides aid to refugees, “loves to bring in invaders who kill our people.” . “I cannot stand idly by and watch my people be slaughtered,” Bowers wrote moments before killing 11 people at the Pittsburgh synagogue.
The comment from the owner and technical director of X is attracting more and more widespread condemnation. On Friday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates replied to Musk’s most recent endorsement of white supremacy on his own platform.
“We condemn in the strongest terms this abhorrent promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred, which runs counter to our fundamental values as Americans,” Bates said, citing the Tree of Life tragedy and the deadly Hamas attack in Israel on October 7. a responsibility to bring people together against hate and an obligation to speak out against anyone who attacks the dignity of fellow Americans and compromises the safety of our communities.
The fallout from Elon Musk’s support for anti-Semitic and racist conspiracies spread further Friday afternoon, with Apple announces a “pause” on all of the company’s advertising on Axios. Disney also suspended its X advertising projects, alongside Lionsgate, Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount and Sony Pictures.
The tweet that Musk called “the real truth” also echoes the broader situation. Excellent replacement conspiracy theory, which white nationalists popularized to sow fear that non-whites are displacing the majority of the white population in countries like the United States.
The owner of X has already dealt with anti-Semitic figures. Musk previously welcomed Kanye West to X after the musician was restricted on Instagram after invoking anti-Semitic tropes. Less than a day later, West infamously tweeted his intention to “die.” [sic] con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” and later posted a Star of David fused with a swastika. X suspended West’s story in December but reinstated this during the summer.
A year ago, Musk reinstated a number of accounts previously suspended for spreading hate, including the infamous neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, who created the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer. Upon his return, Anglin probed Twitter’s new rules in a response to Musk: “You were suspended for 12 hours for tweeting a Star of David with a swastika… Whatever the rules are, people will follow them. We just need to know what the rules are.
Musk has made a habit of engaging with self-described white nationalists and other hateful figures on X. In September, Musk liked a tweet from a describes himself as a “rabid anti-Semite” who launched a campaign to ban X’s Anti-Defamation League. Musk accused the ADL, a Jewish civil rights organization, of being “the largest generator of anti-Semitism on this platform” and threatened to sue the group following the loss of advertising revenue resulting from his criticism of the rise of hate speech on X under his leadership.
Despite Musk’s well-documented history, X CEO Linda Yaccarino defended her company on Thursday, saying that X had “been extremely clear about our efforts to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination.”
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz was sardonic comment on the situation on Threads, Meta’s competitor X. “Xitter CEO Linda Yaccarino faces her biggest test yet when she decides to terminate her anti-Semitic CTO or risk losing even more advertisers,” Moskovitz wrote. “How will she handle this delicate, but morally unambiguous, situation? »