Elon Musk, the controversial tech mogul, is gearing up for a legal battle of epic proportions. Following a damning report by media watchdog Media Matters earlier this week, major US companies, including IBM, Apple, Oracle, Comcast’s Xfinity, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Disney, decided to suspend their advertising on Musk’s social media platform, X, over concerns of antisemitic content.
Media Matters claimed that corporate advertisements were appearing alongside antisemitic material on X, praising Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. In response, Musk declared his intent to file a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and all parties involved in what he called a “fraudulent attack” on his company.
Musk’s stance on the matter escalated when he supported a post on X falsely accusing Jewish people of stoking hatred against white individuals. Musk agreed with the user, who referenced the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, asserting that they were speaking “the actual truth.”
In a statement posted on X, Musk defended his platform, claiming that Media Matters had misrepresented the real experience on X in an attempt to undermine freedom of speech and mislead advertisers. Musk emphasized X’s commitment to protecting the public’s right to free speech, even if it involves content that some may find objectionable.
Despite the outcry against Musk’s tweet, where he seemingly endorsed antisemitic sentiments, he did not directly address the controversy but has previously denied being antisemitic.
The repercussions for X have been significant, with major advertisers like Apple, spending up to $100 million annually, deciding to pull their support. Musk, since acquiring the platform in November 2022, has witnessed a decline in both advertisers and user numbers. In response, he implemented a paid premium system, purportedly to target bots on the site.
Even the White House joined the chorus of criticism, condemning Musk’s tweet as an “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate” that goes against American core values. As the legal battle looms, the tech billionaire remains steadfast in defending X’s commitment to free speech, setting the stage for a contentious courtroom showdown.