At this point, I think it’s fair to say that no one likes Elon Musk anymore. Once hailed as a complicated genius and the sole future of technology, the world’s wealthiest man has proven time and time again that he is much more of a delusional visionary and self-aggrandising man-child than a prophet of information.
I mean, let’s look at the evidence. Musk bought a perfectly good social media platform just to run it into the ground, persists in shooting rockets into space that explode before they even leave Earth’s atmosphere, and now has basically outed himself as a proud antisemite. The votes are in, and it’s not looking good for the Tesla CEO.
On Wednesday 15 November 2023, the billionaire commented the words “You have said the actual truth” underneath an antisemitic post on his platform X, which claimed that Jewish communities were pushing “hatred against whites.” The post also referenced “hordes of minorities” that were flooding to Western countries, which is a popular antisemitic conspiracy theory akin to the white nationalist Great Replacement theory. The theory falsely suggests that Jews are trying to bring undocumented minority populations into Western countries to reduce white majorities.
On top of that, a report by Media Matters from Thursday 16 November revealed that X has been placing ads for major tech companies like Apple, Bravo, IBM, and Oracle next to pro-Nazi content.
In response to this damning report and Musk’s statements, 164 Jewish rabbis and activists released a collective statement calling on Apple, Google, Amazon and Disney to stop advertising on X. The declaration also called for Apple and Google to remove the social media sites from their platforms.
The statement read: “The tweet he agreed with was part of his ongoing support for the Great Replacement conspiracy theory. Worse, it was implicit support for Nazism. This ideology led to the Tree of Life and Poway synagogue massacres. Doing so on a site that is already rife with antisemitism directly endangers Jews.”
“None of this is surprising: Musk has been spreading antisemitism now for years. What is surprising is how many tech companies and leaders are still willing to do business with him. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has doubled down on his support for Elon Musk. Google has deepened its relationship with X by partnering with them on ads. It has been two months since we originally put out our call for large advertisers like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Disney to stop funnelling money onto X as antisemitism explodes on the platform. Nothing has changed. Except for the danger Jews are in,” it continued.
Not soon after, on Friday 17 November, Apple decided to pause all advertisements on X and in doing so, has become quite the trendsetter for a lot of major technology and media companies, such as IBM, Disney, Warner Bros Discovery, Sony, Paramount Global, and Lions Gate Entertainment followed suit.
Amid the recent backlash, Musk has dismissed accusations of antisemitism as “bogus,” asserting that the only wished for “the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all.”
Interestingly enough, a lot of people seem to agree with him. But then again, I am highly suspicious of anyone who follows Musk for any reason other than trying to keep up with the CEO’s madness.
“The establishment media lies about you because they’re terrified of a future where they are irrelevant,” one user posted. “Let’s be honest, in this day and age being attacked by the corporate media is often a sign that you’re doing something right,” another X user noted.
Another post read: “No need to defend yourself @elonmusk! Nobody actually thinks you are antisemitic. All the weirdos saying that are intentionally lying because they want to disparage you due to the power you have over destroying the woke cult!”
A further individual wrote: “As a Jewish person, I don’t think you’re antisemitic, but you are the owner of a very powerful platform that has a problem with antisemitism, and not enough is being done to combat it.”
Unfortunately, the saga does not end here. Following Musk’s response, numerous right-wing media companies and influencers have come together and pledged support for the embroiled businessman. As a way to show their loyalty to Musk, they have promised to advertise on X in order to make up for the revenue lost from fleeing businesses.
“They attack Musk because they hate freedom, and they hate freedom because it threatens their power to control the narrative. It really is that simple,” Seth Dillon, owner and CEO of the conservative Christian news satire website The Babylon Bee commented. Dillon stated that his company would be spending $250,000 to advertise on X in order to support “free speech.”
However, Dillon’s support for Musk shouldn’t come as a surprise. According to Mashable, Babylon Bee’s suspension on the platform was one of the reasons why Musk was interested in acquiring the social media platform.
Following this declaration, conservative Youtuber Tim Pool also pledged the same amount of money to X.
Other right-wing creators such as The Quartering, Donut Operator, Gavin McInnes, and Elijah Schaffer have all also pledged smaller amounts ranging from $2,500 to $40,000.
However, what has definitely taken the cake was when manosphere influencer Andrew Tate announced that he would be making a donation of $1 million per month, without even running ads for his own endeavours.
“I will advertise X on X, I will literally promote your own platform on this platform. You don’t need other advertisers,” Tate stated in a tweet.
Musk has voiced his appreciation for the donations in another X post with a simple prayer hands emoji.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that the combined amount of these pledges still cannot replace the advertisement revenue X will be missing out on. Apple alone reportedly spends more than $100 million per year on X ads. Consequently, the now privately-held company will be facing a seriously large revenue gap going forward.
Musk’s absolute free speech project on X has been contested right from the start. It was always regarded as a dangerous gamble that could result in the proliferation of unchecked misinformation and hate speech. But with his endorsement of white nationalist conspiracy theories and increased association with far-right figures, it is undeniable that things are starting to take an increasingly dangerous turn on one of the world’s biggest social platforms.