While much of America enjoyed a relaxing Labor Day weekend of cookouts and beach trips, X (formerly known as Twitter) owner Elon Musk was doubling down on his absurd claims that the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish nonprofit, had somehow tanked the website he personally ran into the ground.
The accusations began last week, after ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt had a meeting with X CEO Linda Yaccarino to discuss the prevalence of hate speech on the platform. This kicked off a trending hashtag campaign, #BanTheADL, predicated on the groundless idea that the organization has stifled free speech on X (and should therefore have their account removed). But the tag, promoted by known antisemites and white supremacists, generated a slew of hateful content. When Musk proved receptive to the movement and chimed in to allege that “ADL has tried very hard to strangle X/Twitter,” he did so in reply to Keith Woods, an antisemitic YouTuber affiliated with notorious racists Richard Spencer and Nick Fuentes.
By Saturday, Musk was mulling a poll on whether to suspend the ADL and tweeting that it had been “hijacked by the woke mind virus.” He returned to the topic on Monday, once again interacting with Woods and escalating his rhetoric against the group, blaming them for the preponderance of antisemitism on X and insisting that they were out to destroy the website. “Since the acquisition, The @ADL has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic,” he complained.
From there, Musk began spinning out even more outrageous claims of sabotage, tweeting that a 60 percent plummet in U.S. advertising revenue for the site was “primarily due to pressure” from the ADL. (In fact, brands have tended to blame Musk himself for their departure.) Multiple times, he threatened a defamation suit against the organization, at one point calculating that they had cut his company’s value in half, making them liable for a loss of some $22 billion. This back-of-the-envelope math, dubious on its face, also seems to derive from the $44 billion price tag of Musk’s Twitter acquisition, and even he has said he was “obviously overpaying” at that price.