On Wednesday, an X user posted an anti-Semitic message accusing Jews of advocating hatred against “white people.” Musk responded by writing “you told the real truth.”
The claims in the post were based on long-standing anti-Semitic tropes that portray Jewish people as secretly controlling the world and having dual allegiances. Although some versions of these racist conspiracy theories have existed for centuries or even millennia, their most recent iteration is the “Great Replacement Theory,” which posits that the Jewish people want people of color to immigrate to countries with majority white in order to permanently change their demographics. . Part of the post Musk liked mentioned “hordes of minorities,” an apparent reference to this theory.
Musk’s message is just his latest brush with bigotry. Since Twitter’s acquisition in October 2022, civil rights groups have accused Musk of allow hate speech to proliferate on the platform.
Only the first two weeks after Musk bought the siteanti-Semitic messages increased by 61%, according to the Council for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a nonprofit organization that tracks hate speech on the Internet. In August, their claims infuriated Musk to the point that filed a complaint against the CCDH for allegedly carrying out a “warning campaign aimed at scaring away advertisers”. Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas last month, CCDH has found that hate speech on the platform has only gotten worse. The group published a report showing that 98% of the 200 posts flagged for violating X’s guidelines remained on the site.
This wasn’t the first time Elon Musk threatened legal action against an advocacy group. In September, Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League, the civil rights organization that focuses on combating anti-Semitism, for “trying to kill” declared. Musk then met with ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a meeting to clarify matters. Greenblatt said CNBC he left the meeting still worried but nevertheless “encouraged”.
Following up on Wednesday’s initial anti-Semitic post, Musk mentioned the ADL by name. “The ADL unfairly attacks the majority of the West, even though the majority of the West supports the Jewish people and Israel,” Musk wrote in an article. “Indeed, they cannot, on their own principles, criticize the minority groups who constitute their main threat. This is not right and needs to stop.
On Thursday, Greenblatt condemned Musk’s recent comments. “At a time when anti-Semitism is exploding in America and growing around the world, it is unquestionably dangerous to use one’s influence to validate and promote anti-Semitic theories,” Greenblatt wrote.
Musk’s latest posts have also drawn condemnation from across the business community. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, now CEO of software company Asana, called Musk resigns. Wednesday’s post also caught the attention of X’s advertisers, many of whom had previously been cautious about marketing on the platform due to rampant hate speech and Musk’s behavior. From Thursday, IBM withdrew its advertising of X following Musk’s message and the announcement that his ads had appeared alongside pro-Nazi messages.
This comes after X’s new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, a longtime advertising executive at NBCUniversal, spent months trying to rebuild the platform’s reputation with advertisers. In September, at Vox Media Coding ConferenceYaccarino said 90% of the 100 biggest advertisers have returned to the platform, without however specifying whether they spend the same amount.
Shortly after accepting the anti-Semitic message on Wednesday, and after the storm had already started, Musk used [sic]wrote one X user, using a profane abbreviation for fun. “Emotions make people lose their minds. » Musk responded to this comment with the “100” emoji, indicating that he agreed.
Musk’s post from Wednesday remains on X and has not been deleted.