X posts, pulls ad that included accusation of antisemitism against Musk

Message attacking social media company’s owner briefly flashes by as clip shows platform’s feed; is removed on newer version

File: X CEO Elon Musk leaves a US Senate bipartisan Artificial Intelligence (AI) Insight Forum at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)
File: X CEO Elon Musk leaves a US Senate bipartisan Artificial Intelligence (AI) Insight Forum at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

JTA — The social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is in the midst of a massive rebranding campaign. But an ad it posted this week briefly featured an accusation made by some of owner Elon Musk’s biggest critics.

Released Thursday, the two-minute spot begins with a stream of user posts alongside the text “You’ve been here for news, sports and culture.” One of the visible posts, seen for a fraction of a second, is that of a critic of Musk, the site’s owner.

“Twitter’s value has fallen by at least 50%, and Elon is blaming it all on the Jews,” the post said.

The post, which came from a popular left-leaning account called Right Wing Cope, included a screenshot of one of several recent Musk tweets in which the billionaire tech mogul attacked the Anti-Defamation League.

Musk has accused the Jewish antisemitism watchdog of causing massive financial loss to the site because it called for advertisers to pause spending on the platform after Musk acquired it and removed guardrails against hate speech. In his post that can be seen in the ad, Musk claims the ADL “would potentially be on the hook for destroying half the value of the company.” The post was part of a series of tweets in which Musk threatened to sue the ADL for his company’s lost revenue and interacted with white supremacist accounts criticizing the group.

Musk himself has insisted that he is “pro-free speech, but against antisemitism of any kind,” and hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a live chat earlier this week, during which Netanyahu praised his stated commitment to fighting antisemitism and encouraged him to continue fighting anti-Jewish bigotry.

X took down the ad hours after its release, prompting further snark from Right Wing Cope and others. It later uploaded a new version without the post that was critical of Musk.

“X took down an entire ad campaign because an editor who either hates their boss or was really negligent accidentally included one of my tweets calling Elon Musk antisemitic,” Right Wing Cope tweeted afterward.

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