The White House has sharply condemned Elon Musk for endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X, formerly known as Twitter. In a recent statement, White House spokesman Andrew Bates expressed strong disapproval, stating, "It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust." Bates was referring to the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting and the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
Musk's controversial endorsement came after he responded affirmatively to an X post that propagated an antisemitic theory. The post claimed that Jewish communities were fostering hatred against white people, echoing the "great replacement theory" linked to various acts of violence, including the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. Musk later tried to clarify his stance, targeting the Anti-Defamation League in his defense.
This incident has not only drawn criticism from various quarters but has also led to significant repercussions for X. Following a Media Matters report that revealed major brands' advertisements were being placed next to pro-Nazi content on the platform, IBM announced a suspension of its advertising. The report implicated other brands, including Apple, Oracle, Xfinity, and Bravo, but they have yet to declare their advertising plans.
Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, attempted damage control, asserting X's commitment to combatting antisemitism and discrimination. Despite these efforts, Musk's actions have raised serious concerns about the spread of hateful content on the platform.
Following Musk's post, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, criticized the amplification of antisemitic theories, highlighting the danger of such influential endorsements. In response to the growing criticism and the potential threat to user safety, a coalition of 163 Jewish leaders under the banner X Out Hate called for major companies to stop advertising on X and urged Apple and Google to remove X from their app stores, citing the platform's failure to address the surge in antisemitism.
This series of events reflects the broader challenges X faces in moderating content and maintaining a safe environment for all users, amid increasing scrutiny from the public and advertisers. The situation underscores the importance of responsible leadership in social media platforms, particularly in addressing and mitigating the spread of hate speech and misinformation.