In the newest uproar you might have missed, Elon Musk says X, formerly Twitter, will file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League. Musk accused the ADL, an organization that works to combat antisemitism, extremism and bigotry, of falsely accusing him and X of being antisemitic.
“To clear our platform’s name on the matter of anti-Semitism, it looks like we have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League … oh the irony!” tweeted the billionaire celebrity on Monday.
Musk also blamed the ADL for X’s falling U.S. advertising revenue.
“Our US advertising revenue is still down 60%, primarily due to pressure on advertisers by @ADL (that’s what advertisers tell us), so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter!” said Musk.
Musk started off this latest tirade by claiming to be pro-free speech, but “against anti-Semitism of any kind.”
The tweets come as Musk has been called out for liking posts with the hashtag #BanTheADL, which was trending on X last week. The trending hashtag, and Musk’s engagement with it, began hours after the ADL said it had a productive conversation with X CEO Linda Yaccarino about fighting hate speech on the platform.
“Since the acquisition, The @ADL has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me and of being anti-Semitic,” tweeted Musk on Monday. “If this continues, we will have no choice but to file a defamation suit against, ironically, the “Anti-Defamation” League.”
Antisemitism has been a problem on Twitter long before Musk took over. In 2016, the ADL published a report documenting the rise in antisemitic hate speech targeting journalists on the platform, partly due to the rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election.
Since Musk bought the platform, reports of hate speech have abounded. In January, a lawsuit was filed in Germany accusing the platform of mishandling Holocaust denial, which is a crime in the country. Four months later, Germany signaled that it would fine the social media platform for repeatedly failing to comply with social media hate speech takedowns law.
Musk himself has been accused of invoking antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories by targeting Jewish billionaire George Soros and engaging with antisemitic content on X. For example, in June, Musk boosted an anti-semitic tweet that offered a choice between using blood taken from children (connect to a photo of U.S. President Joe Biden) or hating Jews (connected to a picture of actor Mel Gibson, who has made anti-semitic comments in the past.
Musk responded saying, “Gibson is really that buff these days?” Not hate speech in itself, but an example of Musk’s willingness to engage directly with antisemitic posts on his platform. The tweet has since been deleted.
This story is developing. Check back in for updates…