The New York TimesThe New York Times

Elon Musk's antisemitism problem isn't about free speech

By David French

10 Sep 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. Elon Musk, owner of the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has been criticized for his handling of free speech on the platform. Despite his claims of being a "free speech absolutist," critics argue that Musk has created a platform that privileges his own speech and power.

Despite his loud and frequent protestations, Elon Musk may be the worst ambassador for free speech in America. To understand why, it’s necessary to look at X, the website formerly known as Twitter, which he owns and rules over like the generalissimo of a banana republic. The past several days are of particular relevance.

Since the end of last month, the site has hosted a tsunami of vile antisemitic speech. While it’s difficult to peg the cause of any given trend on X, it appears that this latest wave of bigotry might have been sparked by an Aug. 29 meeting between the Anti-Defamation League chief executive, Jonathan Greenblatt, and the new X chief executive, Linda Yaccarino. As Greenblatt posted, the purpose of the meeting was to “address hate” on the platform.

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