Elon Musk

New York, USA Elon Musk, the owner of X, has issued a stern warning to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), vowing to take legal action against the nonprofit organization for alleged defamation. Musk claims that the ADL’s remarks concerning the surge in hate speech on X, a social media platform formerly known as Twitter, have significantly contributed to the plummeting advertising revenue of the platform.

In a post made on X, Musk expressed his concern, stating that the US advertising revenue has witnessed a drastic 60% decline, primarily attributing it to the pressure exerted by the @ADL on advertisers. Musk went on to claim that the ADL has been orchestrating an effort to tarnish both the platform and himself by falsely labeling them as anti-Semitic.

“To restore our platform’s reputation in regards to anti-Semitism, it seems we have no alternative but to initiate a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League… the irony is not lost on me!” remarked Musk.

As for the ADL, it has refrained from commenting on the legal threats as per its policy. However, the organization acknowledged a recent meeting with X’s leadership, including CEO Linda Yaccarino, whom Musk appointed to rejuvenate ad revenue. Following the meeting, Yaccarino extended her gratitude to ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a post on X, emphasizing that a fruitful partnership is founded on goodwill and transparency.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk, the platform’s proprietor, has lately shown support for several posts criticizing the ADL.

On X, the #BanTheADL campaign has gained momentum, and the ADL has accused Musk of endorsing the campaign.

An ADL spokesperson remarked, “ADL is unwavering in the face of this coordinated assault by antisemites, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and other trolls. Such attacks are far from unprecedented.”

The ADL, along with similar organizations like the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), has reported a significant increase in hate speech volume on the platform during Musk’s tenure.

According to CCDH, instances of the n-word in daily use have tripled compared to the 2022 average, while slurs against gay men and trans individuals have surged by 58% and 62%, respectively. The ADL has published a separate report indicating an uptick in antisemitic content on the platform and a decline in the moderation of such posts.

Musk vehemently refuted these claims made by the watchdog groups back in May, asserting that “hate speech impressions,” or the number of views on tweets containing hate speech, have continued to dwindle since he assumed control of the company. He cited a spike in hate speech at the beginning of his ownership as a test of his tolerance.

However, last month, two brands suspended their ad spending on X after their ads were displayed alongside content promoting Nazism. X promptly suspended the account in question, with ad impressions on the page proving minimal.

Musk initiated legal action against CCDH last month, alleging that the nonprofit had deliberately aimed to deter advertisers from the platform by publishing critical reports regarding X’s response to hate-filled content.

The lawsuit specifically claims that CCDH violated X’s terms of service and federal hacking laws by scraping data from the platform and encouraging an unnamed individual to inappropriately collect information about Twitter, which had been shared with a third-party brand monitoring provider.

In response, CCDH’s CEO, Imran Ahmed, dismissed much of the lawsuit as sounding like a conspiracy theory. Ahmed argued that Musk had been searching for a scapegoat to blame for his own failings as CEO, pointing out that Musk initially welcomed racists, misogynists, homophobes, and antisemites to X by declaring it a “free-speech platform.” Consequently, the ensuing increase in hate speech and disinformation should come as no surprise.

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