Elon Musk endorses antisemitic post on X as "the actual truth"

Elon Musk, the world’s richest person and owner of X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, called an antisemitic post on the platform “the actual truth.”

The comment stemmed from an X user’s post that claimed Jews “have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” 

Musk responded, “You have said the actual truth” while also criticizing the Anti-Defamation League, an advocacy group that works to combat hate against Jewish people. “The ADL unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel. This is because they cannot, by their own tenets, criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat,” Musk tweeted.

The comment comes amid heightened tensions due to the Israel-Hamas war, which has led to conflicts on U.S. college campuses over alleged antisemitic and anti-Muslim incidents. Meanwhile, since Hamas militants launched a surprise assault on Israel in October and Israeli attacks in Gaza, there has been a significant rise in antisemitic incidents across the U.S., according to data released by the ADL.

The original post’s sentiment echoes some antisemitic conspiracy theories claiming that Jewish people want to bring in minorities to weaken White majorities. That belief was espoused by convicted murderer Robert Bowers, who raged against Jewish people online before shooting 11 people dead at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.

In a response to Musk’s comment, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote on X, “At a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world, it is indisputably dangerous to use one’s influence to validate and promote antisemitic theories.”

Musk has targeted the ADL previously, threatening in September to sue the group for purportedly accusing both him and X of antisemitism, claiming that the ADL’s actions had led advertisers to abandon the social network. In the year since Musk bought the social media company, he’s transformed the service by firing its CEO and many of its employees, including those working on content moderation. Critics say that has led to a surge in hate speech on X.

Musk, whose personal fortune Forbes puts at $243 billion, has used X as his personal megaphone, amplifying his own views to his 163 million followers on everything from his companies’ products to gender and race issues. His comments have been criticized as hurtful to some groups, such as transgender people, while critics say he has allowed hate speech to flourish on X.

Advertisers have shied away from X partly due to concerns about their content appearing near hate speech. The service has seen a 30% decline in the number of people actively tweeting, the Washington Post reported last month.

But Musk has more on the line than losing advertisers and users, given that he bought Twitter for $44 billion in a deal that included $12.5 billion in loans from banks including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. The value of X has dwindled to about $19 billion, down about 55% from Musk’s original purchase price, the New York Times has reported. 

That slump means the value of the banks’ investments have shrunk considerably and could make it tougher for them to recoup their loans.

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