Musk threatens to sue Anti-Defamation League for falling Twitter revenue

Musk threatens to sue Anti-Defamation League for falling Twitter revenue
Musk has blamed accusations of anti-Semitism made against him by the ADL for major losses in Twitter's advertising revenue.
2 min read
05 September, 2023
Musk, who has rebranded Twitter as 'X', has in the past shared alleged anti-Semitic tropes about George Soros [Getty]

Elon Musk, the owner of social media platform X, formerly Twitter, said the site is considering suing the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) over accusations of anti-Semitism, which he blames for falling revenue.

Musk late Monday accused the US-based Jewish organization of making unfounded complaints against him and X that have scared away advertisers.

"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!" Musk wrote on X on Monday.

"Based on what we've heard from advertisers, ADL seems to be responsible for most of our revenue loss," he wrote, adding that the group "would potentially be on the hook for destroying half the value of the company, so roughly $22 billion."

"Advertisers avoid controversy, so all that is needed for ADL to crush our US & European ad revenue is to make unfounded accusations," he wrote in a long thread that started with a clarification that he favors free speech but is "against anti-Semitism of any kind."

Anti-Semitic Soros trope

Musk, who bought Twitter last year and rebranded it as X, has recently come under fire for liking posts with the hashtag "BanTheADL," which was trending last week.

The ADL has for years accused the social media site of amplifying anti-Semitic hate speech.

In a 2016 report, the group said anti-Semitic attacks against journalists had exploded on Twitter, "thanks to the rhetoric in the 2016 presidential campaign."

It accused the social network of failing to control its "trolling problem."

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Billionaire Musk has also previously been accused of fueling anti-Semitic tropes, including attacks against Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

According to the ADL and the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), problematic and racist speech has sharply risen on X since Musk completed his $44 billion takeover in October.

Since then, the Tesla boss has fired thousands of the platform's employees, cut content moderation and reinstated former president Donald Trump's account.

Last month, Musk sued the CCDH, accusing it of a smear campaign that damaged the social network's relationship with advertisers.