Elon Musk's weekend tussle with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) spilled over into Monday when the owner of X — formerly known as Twitter — accused the global anti-hate activist of being the "biggest generators of anti-Semitism" on his platform.
It capped a weekend of posts from Musk that sided with an Irish white nationalist over his #BanTheADL trend. Musk also blamed the ADL for the loss of advertising revenue on X since he took it over, and suggested an anti-defamation lawsuit against the anti-defamation organization.
Ironically, Musk's tweets all came in the aftermath of new X CEO Linda Yaccarino's meeting with ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on Wednesday. That meeting was about the ADL's concern over a spike in racist, antisemitic, and homophobic content on X since Musk bought it last year for $44 billion.
Later Monday, Musk tweeted out, "To be super clear, I'm pro free speech, but against antisemitism of any kind."
The barrage began Saturday, when Musk liked a post by YouTube influencer Keith O'Brien, who goes by Keith Woods online and once called himself a "raging antisemite," over the trending "#BanTheADL," which he started. O'Brien's quest began the day after the Yaccarino-Greenblatt meeting.
"Perhaps we should run a poll on this?" Musk tweeted, adding that the ADL "has tried to very hard to strangle X/Twitter." Musk is an avowed "free-speech absolutist."
Then early Monday morning, Musk tweeted, "The ADL, because they are so aggressive in their demands to ban social media accounts for even minor infractions, are ironically the biggest generators of anti-Semitism on this platform!"
Later Monday, Musk let loose a flurry of tweets:
— "If this continues, we will have no choice but to file a defamation suit against, ironically, the "Anti-Defamation" League."
— "Since the acquisition, The @ADL has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic"
— "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!"
For its part, the ADL declined comment to NBC News about Musk's threat of a lawsuit, instead directing the outlet to a statement it released over the weekend in response to the #BanTheADL" movement.
"Such insidious efforts don't daunt us," the statement said. "Instead, they drive us to be unflinching in our commitment to fight hate in all its forms and ensure the safety of Jewish communities and other marginalized groups."
Greenblatt had posted about his "very frank + productive conversation" with Yaccarino, saying, "I appreciated her reaching out and I'm hopeful the service will improve."
The posts, however, have since been deleted, according to Forbes.
Mark Swanson ✉
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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