After a scandal over Nazi content 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.
The controversial post on Platform X, formerly Twitter, did not come from Elon Musk himself, but from another user. It stated, among other things, that “Jewish communities” fostered “hatred against white people.” The backdrop is a right-wing extremist conspiracy narrative according to which Jews pursue a secret plan to bring illegal migrants to Western countries in order to weaken the white majority. Musk wrote: “You told the truth.”
This approval was 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 later qualified his statement. He refers to “some groups” like the NGO Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which he says spread anti-white racism and anti-Asian racism. There have been tensions between both parties for a long time.
The ADL criticized that too little was being done on Twitter to combat anti-Semitism and hate. Musk accused ADL of being to blame for the decline in the number of advertising clients on X, after making it public that around 60% of advertising revenue had disappeared. He even threatened to sue the organization.
ADL CEO Josh Greenblatt said on CNBC in early September that violence against Jews had noticeably increased in the US. If Elon Musk spreads and amplifies anti-Semitic voices on X, that would be “very problematic.”
Musk encourages right-wing circles
Musk has 160 million followers on
Sarah Frier, a reporter for the business news service Bloomberg, said on the “Elon Inc” podcast that Musk’s statements caught the attention of right-wing circles in particular: even if he only nods in the direction of right-wing circles, he encourages these groups engage more and more impartially on social media, as well as to express X.
X loses more big advertising clients
Musk’s Network For example, the 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 film studio Lionsgate no longer want to show advertising on the X.
The non-profit organization Media Matters had previously shown that advertisements from other companies, such as Apple or software company Oracle, were also published on X along with posts making positive statements about Adolf Hitler. The European Commission also doesn’t want to put any more advertising on X for now. This was justified by the increase in misinformation and hate speech.