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Elon Musk threatens defamation lawsuit against ADL

by Ikenna Ngere

On Monday, Elon Musk threatened to file a lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League after the organisation was held accountable for a decline in X’s advertising revenue since he oversaw the takeover of the website formerly known as Twitter.

In response to the ADL reporting an increase in hate speech on the platform after the reinstatement of previously banned accounts, Musk accused the organisation of “trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic” in a post on X.

According to the billionaire, U.S. advertising revenue “is still down 60%, primarily due to pressure on advertisers by @ADL (that’s what advertisers tell us), so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter!”

Before threatening to sue the ADL, Musk stated in another post that he was “pro free speech, but against anti-Semitism of any kind.”

After accounts were reinstated at the request of free speech supporter Musk, the Anti-Defamation League detected over 5,000 instances of “virulent antisemitism from 2,173 accounts” on Twitter in February.

On Saturday, Musk responded to a right-wing campaign to ban the ADL on X, saying: “Perhaps we should run a poll on this?”

While this is going on, X has filed a lawsuit against the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, accusing it of making “false” statements about the rise in prejudiced speech on the platform since Musk took control of it in October.

As a matter of policy, the charity ADL declines to comment on legal threats, but the spokesperson for the organisation spoke to the movement to have the group removed off X in an email message.

“ADL is unsurprised yet undeterred that antisemites, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and other trolls have launched a coordinated attack on our organization. This type of thing is nothing new,” the spokesperson said.

“This onslaught comes following our participation in the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, where ADL proudly marched shoulder-to-shoulder with African American leaders and those from other minority communities. It also follows a meeting with the leadership of X … that clearly upset these hateful groups,” the spokesperson added.

“Such insidious efforts don’t daunt us. Instead, they drive us to be unflinching in our commitment to fight hate in all its forms and ensure the safety of Jewish communities and other marginalized groups.”

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