Elon Musk, the owner of the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has hinted at the possibility of suing the prominent civil rights organization, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Musk alleges that the ADL’s accusations of anti-Semitism have directly contributed to X’s declining revenue.
Musk took to the X platform on Monday evening to express his grievances, asserting that the ADL’s unfounded complaints have driven away advertisers. He stated, “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!”
According to Musk’s claims, advertisers have been deterred from X due to the ADL’s actions, potentially resulting in significant financial losses for the company. Musk contended that the ADL might be held responsible for eroding approximately half of the company’s value, which equates to around $22 billion.
Musk elaborated on the situation, explaining that advertisers tend to avoid controversy. He believes that the ADL’s baseless allegations have been instrumental in stifling X’s ad revenue in the United States and Europe.
This sentiment was conveyed through a lengthy thread, initiated with a declaration of Musk’s support for free speech while denouncing all forms of anti-Semitism.
The ADL, in response to Musk’s legal threats, refrained from commenting directly but did acknowledge the trending hashtag, “#BanTheADL,” on the platform.
Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter and rebranded it as X the previous year, has faced criticism for endorsing posts containing the hashtag. The ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, expressed deep concern over Musk’s engagement with what he termed a “highly toxic, anti-Semitic campaign” on his platform, deeming it “dangerous and deeply irresponsible.”
The controversial campaign appears to have emerged following the ADL’s participation in a civil rights march commemorating the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech.
For several years, the ADL has accused the social media site, X, of amplifying anti-Semitic hate speech. Recent meetings between the ADL and top X executives reflect ongoing concerns.
In a 2016 report, the ADL highlighted a surge in anti-Semitic attacks against journalists on Twitter, which they attributed to the rhetoric of the 2016 presidential campaign. They also criticized the platform for its inadequate control over trolling behavior.
Elon Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur, has previously faced allegations of perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes, including attacks against Jewish philanthropist George Soros.
According to both the ADL and the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), instances of problematic and racist speech have markedly increased on X since Musk’s $44 billion takeover in October. Musk’s subsequent actions, including mass layoffs, reduced content moderation, and the reinstatement of former President Donald Trump’s account, have added to the platform’s controversies.
Notably, Musk recently initiated a lawsuit against the CCDH, accusing the organization of a smear campaign that adversely affected X’s advertiser relationships.