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Elon Musk Threatens To Sue Anti-Defamation League Over Declining X Ad Revenue



Courtesy of @elonmusk via Twitter
Elon Musk, is threatening to sue the Anti-Defamation League for defamation, arguing the civil rights group is responsible for plunging ad revenue on X, formerly called Twitter, which he owns.
According to Musk, the ADL’s reporting on hate speech and extremist groups on the social media platform scared away advertisers.
“Since the acquisition, The @ADL has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic,” Musk posted on X on Monday.
Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022 for $44 billion. The tech mogul promised the platform would prioritize free speech under his tenure, and many previously banned users’ accounts were reinstated. At the same time, widespread layoffs across the company included key trust and safety teams.
Users have since complained that posts reported for antisemitism, racism and other forms of hate speech and harassment are no longer moderated as they once were.
The ADL, as well as other organizations, like the Center for Countering Digital Hate, have issued reports finding the volume of hate speech on X has increased since Musk’s takeover.
A report earlier this year from the CCDH found that use of the n-word has tripled under Musk compared to the 2022 average, and that slurs used against trans people had also sharply risen. The ADL issued a report that found antisemitic content rising, while moderation of posts reported for antisemitism declined.
Musk refuted both organizations’ claims, saying “hate speech impressions,” or the number of times a post containing hate speech is viewed, were declining.
Last month, Musk sued the CCDH, claiming the group was deliberating driving advertisers away from X. The lawsuit also accused CCDH of violating the platform’s terms of service by scraping post data and improperly obtaining data from a third-party brand monitor.
Also last month, multiple brands pulled advertising from X after a report from news watchdog Media Matters for America found ads for mainstream brands served alongside posts espousing Nazi views and praising Adolph Hitler.
“To be super clear, I’m pro free speech, but against anti-Semitism of any kind,” Musk posted on Monday. “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!”
Musk said the ADL could “potentially be on the hook for destroying half the value of the company, so roughly $22 billion.”
“If this continues, we will have no choice but to file a defamation suit against, ironically, the ‘Anti-Defamation’ League,” Musk said.
TMX contributed to this article.