X owner Elon Musk took a swipe at advertisers for pulling their support from the platform after allegations of antisemitic content surfaced. The controversy was triggered by left-wing advocacy organization Media Matters, which claimed to have found posts promoting Hitler and the Nazi Party on X alongside advertisements for major brands such as Apple and IBM.
Musk took to his platform on Friday night, declaring that X Corp would initiate legal proceedings against Media Matters and all parties involved in what he deemed a “fraudulent attack” on his company. He referred to the impending legal action as a “thermonuclear lawsuit.”
X defended itself in a blog post, asserting that Media Matters’ research methodology did not accurately represent how typical users engage with the platform. The company argued that Media Matters selectively followed accounts posting objectionable content and then refreshed timelines until ads appeared. According to X, only one out of the nine highlighted posts violated its content moderation rules.
“Upon evaluation,” they wrote, “only one of the nine organic posts featured in the article violated our content policies, and we’ve taken action on it under our Freedom of Speech, Not Reach enforcement approach.”
Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at X, emphasized the efficiency of their content moderation model, stating that a mere 50 impressions were served against the flagged content out of 5.5 billion served throughout the day. He asserted, “Data wins over allegations.”
Media Matters responded to Musk’s legal threats, vowing to defend itself against what they called a “meritless lawsuit.” Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, accused Musk of attempting to silence accurate reporting and highlighted Musk’s admission that the ads in question ran alongside the identified pro-Nazi content.
“Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully threatening a meritless lawsuit in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate,” Carusone said. “Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. This is like getting mad at a mirror because you don’t like the reflection. If he does sue us, we will win.”
Advertisers and content moderation aside, Musk is also under fire for his endorsement of an antisemitic post on X. The comment falsely accused members of the Jewish community of inciting hatred against white people.
The Jewish community sees Musk’s support of this statement as bolstering the replacement theory or the conspiracy theory that claims that Jews have brought together nonwhite immigrants to replace the white race.
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