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White House blasts Musk’s ‘hideous’ antisemitic lie, advertisers pause on X

file photo: illustration shows elon musk twitter account
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

The White House condemned Elon Musk’s endorsement of what it called a “hideous” antisemitic conspiracy theory on X, while major U.S. companies including Walt Disney Co DIS.N, Warner Bros Discovery WBD.O and NBCUniversal parent Comcast CMCSA.O paused their advertisements on his social media site.

Musk on Wednesday agreed with a post on X that falsely claimed Jewish people were stoking hatred against white people, saying the user who referenced the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory was speaking “the actual truth.”

That conspiracy theory holds that Jewish people and leftists are engineering the ethnic and cultural replacement of white populations with non-white immigrants that will lead to a “white genocide.”

The White House accused Musk of an “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate” that “runs against our core values as Americans.”

“It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie … one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said, referring to the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Israel.

In addition to Disney, Warner Bros Discovery and Comcast, Lions Gate EntertainmentLGFa.N and Paramount Global PARA.O said on Friday they also were pausing their ads on X, formerly Twitter. Axios reported that AppleAAPL.O, the world’s largest company by market value, was also pausing its ads.

IBMIBM.N on Thursday halted its advertising on X after a report found its ads were placed next to content promoting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Media Matters said it found that corporate advertisements by IBM, Apple, Oracle ORCL.N and Comcast’s Xfinity were being placed alongside antisemitic content.

Advertisers have fled the site, formerly called Twitter, since Musk bought it in October 2022 and reduced content moderation, resulting in a sharp rise in hate speech on X, according to civil rights groups.

Representatives for Musk and X on Friday again declined to comment on his post.

“Many of the largest advertisers are the greatest oppressors of your right to free speech,” Musk wrote on X on Friday while promoting a premier tier of the platform that removes ads from users’ feeds.

“Premium+ also has no ads in your timeline,” he said.

“When it comes to this platform – X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world – it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop,” X CEO Linda Yaccarino said on Thursday.

Antisemitism has been on the rise in recent years in the United States and worldwide. Following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas after last month’s attack, antisemitic incidents in the United States rose by nearly 400% from the year-earlier period, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that fights antisemitism.

Musk, chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla TSLA.O and founder of rocket company SpaceX, has blamed the Anti-Defamation League for the ongoing drop in advertisers, without offering any evidence.

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