Elon Musk blames ADL, considers lawsuit for X’s issues.

Elon Musk blames ADL, considers lawsuit for X's issues.

X’s Struggles: A Rollercoaster Year Since Elon Musk’s Acquisition


X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, has had a rollercoaster ride since Elon Musk acquired the company last October. While there have been many factors contributing to X’s revenue problems, according to Musk, the Jewish anti-extremism civil rights organization Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is “primarily” to blame.

Musk’s assertion may come as a surprise, especially considering the litany of other issues that X has faced. From Musk’s own unpredictability and engagement with far-right users on the platform, to the mass layoffs that left advertisers without a company contact, the unclear platform rules and content moderation changes, and the controversial rebrand from a globally known household name to a generic letter – X has had its fair share of challenges.

Nonetheless, Musk boldly claims, “Our US 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!” This statement contradicts what X has previously stated about its revenue. In interviews, the company has repeatedly claimed that advertisers who had fled the platform have returned or expressed intention to do so.

One point of contention between Musk and the ADL stems from the organization’s campaign to pressure advertisers until X takes action against hate speech on the platform. Musk’s apparent spat with the ADL unfolded during the U.S. holiday weekend when ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt shared on X that he had a “productive” meeting with X CEO Linda Yaccarino. The news of the meeting immediately drew backlash from right-wing users, provoking Musk’s reaction.

Rather than downplaying the significance of the meeting, Musk publicly expressed disapproval by liking posts from a white nationalist spreading the #BanTheADL hashtag. He even entertained the idea of letting X users decide whether the ADL’s account should be banned, tweeting, “Perhaps we should run a poll on this?

Musk went on to claim that the ADL is responsible for online anti-Semitism, citing the organization’s work against hate speech as a reason for its occurrence. Notably, this claim is viewed as an anti-Semitic trope. Experts, including author and conspiracy theory expert Mike Rothschild, have pointed out that “‘The Jews bring it on themselves’ is one of the oldest anti-Semitic canards out there.”

After facing backlash, Musk attempted to clarify his stance on anti-Semitism, tweeting that he is “pro free speech but against anti-Semitism.” However, he continued to rant about the ADL and blame the organization for X’s financial woes. He even proposed a potential defamation lawsuit against the ADL, although he clarified that X would only ban the ADL’s account if the organization broke the law.

Despite the controversies and challenges that X has faced under Elon Musk’s ownership, it’s worth noting that the platform remains a vital space for free expression and global conversations. As X navigates its way through the storm, it is both a reminder of the power and influence of social media platforms and a testament to the importance of responsible and inclusive digital spaces.