Following the X owner’s apparent approval of an antisemitic message on the platform, the White House accused Elon Musk of perpetuating a “hideous lie” about Jews.
Mr. Musk referred to an antisemitic conspiracy theory as “actual truth” in response to a post shared on Wednesday.
That the post was antisemitic has been refuted by Mr. Musk.
A White House spokesperson, however, called his support of the tweet “unacceptable” after it sparked outrage online.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates stated, “We condemn this abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate in the strongest terms.”
He mentioned that the post to which Mr. Musk was replying discussed a conspiracy theory that served as the driving force behind the murder of eleven people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.
Mr. Bates stated, “It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” referring to the Hamas attack against Israel a month earlier on October 7.
In a previous tweet, X CEO Linda Yaccarino stated that the business has been “very clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination.” It’s ugly and wrong, and it has no place in this world.”
Mr. Musk reacted to a post on Wednesday that contained anti-immigrant sentiments and accused Jewish communities of inciting “hatred against Whites” with his “truth” reply.
It seemed to be an endorsement of the racist and antisemitic “white genocide” conspiracy theory, which holds that Jews deliberately plan to promote immigration of “non-white” individuals to Western nations with the goal of “eliminating” the white race.
A mass murderer in Pittsburgh who entered the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 and shot and killed eleven attendees was inspired by this thought. Earlier this year, Robert Bowers received a death sentence.
Mr. Musk refutes accusations that he is antisemitic and then clarifies that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other unidentified “Jewish communities” were the target of his remarks rather than all Jews.
“It is undeniably dangerous to use one’s influence to validate and promote antisemitic theories at a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world,” said ADL Chief Executive Jonathan Greenblatt.
The antisemitism controversy arises as a result of several organizations ceasing to purchase advertisements on X, the former name of Twitter, due to radical content on the platform.
Following a report from a left-wing media watchdog claiming that its content was displayed next to posts endorsing Adolf Hitler and Nazism, IBM halted its advertising spending.
Ads are not purposefully placed next to extremist content, X informed the BBC on Thursday. Additionally, the Nazi-promoting accounts will not receive any revenue from advertising, and certain posts will be labeled as “sensitive media”.
In a related development, Politico reports that the European Commission has instructed its departments to cease purchasing advertisements on X due to worries about false material regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Mr. Musk has frequently reiterated conspiracy theories and attacked social media watchdogs, like as the ADL and other organizations, for their criticism of his adjustments to X’s content management.
Despite significant reductions to the firm’s safety staff, the company claims that it has more robust brand safety measures than other social networks and that hate speech and extremism have decreased on the site. Contrary to the company’s judgment, a number of independent organizations claim that Mr. Musk’s leadership has led to an increase in extremism and hate speech.
Musk said the ADL was “trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic” and made threats to sue the organization earlier this year. He attributes the dramatic decline in advertising revenue since his takeover to pressure organizations rather than disinformation and radical views.
Although he hasn’t followed through on his threat against the ADL, the business has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a different research and advocacy organization.
CCDH described the X complaint as “an attempt to censor, intimidate, and silence” in a move to dismiss the case filed on Thursday under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, often known as “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” law.