Elon Musk threatens to sue the Anti-Defamation League, claiming it is 'trying to kill' X, formerly known as Twitter

Elon Musk.
Elon Musk.Chesnot via Getty Images
  • The hashtag #BanTheADL began trending after a meeting between X CEO Linda Yaccarino and ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

  • Musk appeared to support the effort, claiming ADL is intentionally trying to sabotage X.

  • The ADL has documented a rise in hate speech on X following Musk's acquisition last year.

In a series of posts on Monday, Elon Musk said X, formerly known as Twitter, may have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Musk, who purchased Twitter in April of 2022 and subsequently renamed it X, directly blamed the ADL for declining US advertising revenue, which is down 60%, at the platform. Musk claimed that the ADL is "trying to kill" the platform by "falsely accusing" him and it of being anti-semitic. Though it's unclear how serious Musk's threat of legal actually is, he said that if X were to win a lawsuit, he would insist that the organization drop the "anti" portion of their name.

"To be super clear, I'm pro free speech, but against anti-Semitism of any kind," Musks posts began. "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's latest comments come after ADL CEO Joseph Greenblatt posted on X about a meeting with CEO Linda Yaccarino in which he raised the issue of hate speech on the platform.

Following their meeting, the hashtag #BanTheADL began trending on X, with some users calling for the organization to be removed from the platform. Musk himself liked some of these posts, including one from self-described anti-Semite Keith Woods.

The ADL, founded in 1913, describes itself as the "leading anti-hate organization in the world" and has for decades fought against antisemitism and hate speech against other marginalized groups. The ADL has documented a rise in hate speech on X since Musk took over the company in late 2022, calling out what it sees as failures by the platform to enforce its own content moderation policies.

Despite Musk's claims, Insider could find no instances of the ADL accusing him or Xof being anti-semitic.

X did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the ADL declined to comment on Musk's threat of legal action but issued a statement about the trending #BanTheADL hashtag.

"ADL is unsurprised yet undeterred that antisemites, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and other trolls have launched a coordinated attack on our organization," the spokesperson said in an email statement to Insider. "This type of thing is nothing new."


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