Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will touch down in California on Monday to meet with Elon Musk. The talks come as civil rights groups accuse the X owner of amplifying anti-Semitism, an allegation he denies.
When Musk purchased Twitter, now called X, for $44 billion last year, he vowed to turn the site into a haven for free expression. He envisioned a virtual community without stringent user guidelines.
But his overhaul plan ran into turbulence early on, when he laid off thousands of employees, including some of his content moderators. The Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, accused Musk of enabling “purveyors of lies and conspiracies” after he reinstated many previously banned profiles–those belonging to white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Holocaust deniers among them.
In a recent post, Musk revealed that X’s ad revenue has dropped by 60% in the U.S. He blamed pressure from ADL, saying the organization “was almost successful in killing X/Twitter!” he wrote.
“The fact is, who would want to sponsor a platform that is looking very likely to cause real-world violence against [Jewish people]?” Claire Atkin, co-founder of the adtech watchdog Check My Ads, told VOA.
In a separate tweet, Musk said “To clear our platform’s name on the matter of anti-Semitism, it looks like we have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League.” “Oh, the irony” he added.
“[The legal threats] are retaliatory and indicate that he is losing and panicking,” Atkins, the adtech expert, said. “Musk is looking for someone to blame for his own actions.”
Last month, Musk sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate, or CCDH, a British advocacy group. Days ago, CCDH released its latest findings: In an audit of 300 prejudiced tweets flagged for hate speech, only 14% of them were taken down within a week.