September 14, 2023 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
Antisemites have a ‘captive audience’ in Musk
He's following the footsteps of generations of conspiracy theorists.
The bullshit artist known as Elon Musk is blaming Jews for the implosion of X (perpetually known as Twitter, because “X” is simply too ridiculous).
Specifically, Musk is blaming the storied Anti-Defamation League for driving advertisers away from the social media platform by complaining about all the defamation that goes on there.
Musk tweeted that the site’s revenue had dropped by 60 percent “primarily due to pressure on advertisers by @ADL (that’s what advertisers tell us), so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter!”
Keep in mind that Musk is a ketamine-addled manchild who lies constantly. The ADL has no power to force advertisers to stop advertising. All it can do is spread the word about the hateful speech that’s rampant on the platform.
When Musk took over Twitter in 2022, he reinstated large numbers of accounts that had previously been banned for posting hate. The number of antisemitic slurs on Twitter surged by over 60 percent in the weeks after Musk took over.
Blaming/crediting the ADL with a 60 percent drop in revenues is absurd, but it wouldn’t surprise me if ADL’s warnings were getting traction with advertisers. Most companies don’t want their products displayed next to the musings of @gasthejews6969. It’s bad for business.
Musk’s tantrum will probably never see the inside of a courtroom. For one thing, he’s broke. Musk can’t even pay the rent on Twitter headquarters. Furthermore, Musk threatens to sue people all the time and usually doesn’t follow through with it. The point of that tweet was pure vice-signaling to the far right. Musk wants to show that he’s a team player.
It’s a mutual admiration society. Musk consistently chats up the worst antisemites on Twitter. In June, Musk was cheerfully bantering in the replies to a tweet about “adrenochrome” and “hating the J’s [Jews].” Adrenochrome is QAnon’s twist on the ancient antisemitic trope of blood libel.
“The ADL’s favourite tactic is financially blackmailing social media companies into removing free speech on their platforms,” tweeted self-proclaimed “raging antisemite” and white nationalist Keith Woods on August 31. “Why should they have a platform on X to hold @elonmusk to ransom? It’s time to #BanTheADL.”
Musk liked the tweet, which launched the hashtag #BanTheADL, and offered to “run a poll” of his subscribers on the question. The hashtag was picked up across the far right, including by Andrew Torba, the founder of the social media platform Gab, who refuses to speak to Jewish reporters, and by “groyper” Nick Fuentes. Fuentes bragged that he and his fellow antisemites now have a “captive audience” in Musk.
When Musk took over Twitter in 2022, he reinstated large numbers of accounts that had previously been banned for posting hate. The number of antisemitic slurs on Twitter surged by over 60 percent in the weeks after Musk took over. At one point, he even reinstated neo-Nazi fugitive Andrew Anglin. Anglin became a fugitive because he blew off a multi-million dollar judgment for terrorizing a Montana family.
“Elon Musk sent up the Bat Signal to every kind of racist, misogynist and homophobe that Twitter was open for business,” Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate told the Times at the time. “They have reacted accordingly.”
Musk claims to be a free speech absolutist, but he’s threatening to sue a nonprofit for speaking out against the permissive environment he’s nurtured for hate speech and conspiracy theories. It’s literally the Anti-Defamation League’s job to sound the alarm about hate speech. The ADL monitors hate speech and shares its conclusions with the public, as it has done since its founding in 1913.
Musk is following the footsteps of generations of conspiracy theorists who have blamed the ADL for fomenting a worldwide conspiracy. It’s a stock villain on the far right along with Bn’ai Brith, the Rothschilds and the Trilateral Commission. And Elon Musk is here for it.
He’s building a mainstream hate platform.
Lindsay Beyerstein covers legal affairs, health care and politics for the Editorial Board. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, she’s a judge for the Sidney Hillman Foundation. Find her @beyerstein.