Elon Musk, X, and the #BanTheADL Drama: A Digital Hate Story

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Elon Musk, X, and the ADL drama in 30 seconds

In the vast cosmos of digital platforms, X (formerly known as Twitter) witnessed a celestial collision between Elon Musk and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). And trust us, it was more dramatic than a supernova explosion.

1. The ADL’s Galactic Announcement

Elon Musk, X, and the ADL Controversy
Elon Musk, X, and the ADL Controversy catching fire. Screenshot: Tesla Owners Silicon Valley – X

The ADL (Anti-Defamation League), a beacon against antisemitism, made waves in the digital universe when its Director, Jonathan Greenblatt, tweeted about a “stellar conversation” with X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, on August 31, 2023. The topic? Addressing the black holes of hate speech on X. This is after ADL reported a spike in hate speech on the platform soon after Musk bought it. Musk recently said that US advertising revenue for X is down by 60%, mainly due to ADL pressure.

Elon Musk on X: ADL is trying to strangle the platform
Elon Musk on X: ADL has tried very hard to strangle X/Twitter. Screenshot: X

2. The Right-Wing Meteor Shower

Following the ADL’s announcement, a meteor shower of right-wing reactions lit up X’s digital sky. Notable constellations, including Nick Fuentes and Charlie Kirk, amplified the #BanTheADL signal, making it a trending phenomenon. Musk’s immediate response? Tweeting: “ADL has tried very hard to strangle X/Twitter.”

3. A Disturbing Advertisement in the X Galaxy

Among the twinkling tweets and posts, a dark shadow emerged. Users reported spotting a white supremacist ad echoing the ominous “14 words” slogan. A reminder that in the vast digital universe, dark matter exists.

4. ADL’s Starry Commitment

Despite the cosmic chaos, the ADL remained a shining Star of David. They had previously rallied for brands to navigate away from X’s advertising space, addressing hate speech concerns. However, they recently re-entered the X advertising orbit. The ADL radiated a clear message in response to the #BanTheADL supernova: their unwavering commitment to combat hate and protect the universe’s marginalized communities.

Elon Musk
Screenshot: PG&E Innovation Summit 2023 – YouTube

It took 6 days for Musk to take off his gloves and tweet, “To clear our platform’s name on the matter of antisemitism, it looks like we have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League,” adding, “Oh the irony!”

Musk recently sued another anti-hate speech group, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), accusing it of damaging X’s relationship with advertisers. While doing so, Musk tried to clarify his position, that he is in favor of free speech but against antisemitism of any kind. Well, at least it’s clear he’s not against lawyers. In late March 2024, a federal judge in California dismissed the lawsuit, citing the case as an attempt to punish CCDH for their critical reports and speech regarding X. The dismissal was grounded in California’s anti-SLAPP law, which protects against lawsuits that aim to silence free speech.

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