X boss Elon Musk says using 'from the river to the sea' to result in suspension from platform
'X' CEO Elon Musk said on Saturday that the use of some terms associated with Israel's war on Gaza - including 'decolonisation' and 'from the river to the sea' - will lead to immediate suspension from the platform.
Musk took to X, formerly Twitter, to claim that use of the two terms were equivalent to "advocating for genocide" and warranted suspension from the platform.
As I said earlier this week, “decolonization”, “from the river to the sea” and similar euphemisms necessarily imply genocide.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 17, 2023
Clear calls for extreme violence are against our terms of service and will result in suspension. https://t.co/1fCFo5Lezb
Pro-Palestine voices criticised Musk for his comments, saying that he was conflating legitimate political expressions with calls for violence and accusing him of limiting free speech.
The comments also prompted a flurry of posts using the phrases he had warned against using.
MR. ELON MUSK,— Shahkar Kazmi (@shahkar_kazmi) November 19, 2023
"FROM THE RIVER, TO THE SEA," PALESTINE WILL BE FREE!!! 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/LH4MPLu8vW
Use of the two targeted phrases has grown considerably since Israel began bombing the Gaza Strip on October 7 in an onslaught that has so far killed 13,000 in Gaza in the space of just six weeks.
The onslaught, which Israel launched after a surprise attack by Hamas that killed 1,200 people, has raised awareness around the decades of oppression Palestinians have faced at the hands of Israel.
The chant 'From the river to the sea' refers to the lands between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan, and is deeply ingrained in Palestinian identity and culture. It is repeated by exiled Palestinians because it speaks of the right of return, the liberation and decolonisation of Palestine, and freedom for its people.
However, the chant has been misrepresented by pro-Israeli politicians and groups in Europe and the US as well by Israel, who label it as a hate crime against Jewish people.
Musk' comment also comes amid increasing scrutiny over content moderation on X, including for post deemed antisemitic or Islamophobic - particularly in the US.