White House criticizes Musk for encouraging anti-Semitic posts

White House criticizes Musk for encouraging anti-Semitic posts

To: November 18, 2023 2:40 am

After the Nazi content scandal on Twitter’s successor X, other major advertising clients are turning their backs on Musk’s online platform. And the White House accuses the Tesla boss of spreading anti-Semitism.

Catherine William

The controversial post on Platform X, formerly Twitter, did not come from Elon Musk himself, but from another user. It was said, among other things, that “Jewish communities” fomented “anti-white hatred.” The backdrop is a right-wing extremist conspiracy narrative that Jews are pursuing a secret plan to bring illegal migrants into Western countries in order to weaken the white majority. Musk wrote: “You told the truth.”

This approval has been heavily criticized in the USA. The White House accused the Tesla boss of spreading anti-Semitism. A statement said this was unacceptable and “We condemn in the strongest terms this abhorrent promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred.”

Dispute between ADL and Musk

Musk then qualified his statement. He refers to “certain groups” such as the NGO Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which he says spreads anti-white and anti-Asian racism. There have been tensions between the two parties for a long time.

The ADL has criticized the fact that too little is being done on Twitter to combat anti-Semitism and hatred. Musk accused the ADL of being responsible for the decline in advertising clients on X after making public that about 60% of advertising revenue had disappeared. He even threatened to sue the organization.

ADL Director General Josh Greenblatt told CNBC in early September that violence against Jews has increased dramatically in the United States. If Elon Musk spread and amplified anti-Semitic rumors about X, it would be “very problematic.”

Musk encourages right-wing circles

Musk has 160 million followers

Sarah Frier, a journalist for the business news service Bloomberg, said on the “Elon Inc” podcast that Musk’s statements attracted attention especially from right-wing circles: Even if he only waves in the direction of right-wing circles, he encourages these groups to engage in an increasingly impartial way in social networks, as well as to express X.

X loses more important advertising clients

Musk’s network For example, computer company IBM stopped advertising on X after the company’s ads were discovered alongside Nazi posts. IBM said this was unacceptable. And Apple, Disney and the film studio Lionsgate no longer want to show advertising on X.

The non-profit organization Media Matters had previously shown that ads from other companies such as Apple or the software company Oracle were also published on X alongside posts with positive statements about Adolf Hitler. The EU Commission also no longer wants to advertise on X for the time being. This has been justified by the increase in misinformation and hate speech.

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