Elon Musk ‘likes’ trending #BanTheADL posts while promoting white supremacists on the platform

For the past 24 hours, the hashtag #BanTheADL has been trending on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The trending hashtag refers to the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish anti-extremism civil rights organization.

Even more worryingly, X owner Elon Musk has signaled his support for the attacks against the ADL on the platform.

During the same period, numerous X users have also reported being shown an X-approved advertisement promoting white supremacy on the platform.


Here’s what Elon Musk added to X’s new Terms of Service

It all started Thursday when ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt published a post on X in which he shared that he had a “productive conversation” with the company’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, about hate speech on the platform.

“I had a very candid and productive conversation with @LindayaX yesterday about @X what is working and what isn’t and where it needs to go to effectively combat hate on the platform,” Greenblatt wrote in a now-deleted post. “I appreciate that she reached out and I’m confident the service will improve. @ADL will be vigilant and give credit to her and @ElonMusk as the service improves… and reserves the right to call her until it does.”

Linda Yaccarino's response to ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt

Linda Yaccarino’s response to ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt’s now-deleted post.
Image credit: Mashable screenshot

“A strong and productive partnership is based on good intentions and openness. Thank you Jonathan.” answered Yaccarino that was personally hired by Musk in May.

Almost immediately, droves of right-wing users of the platform flocked to the post of ADL director, using anti-Semitic rhetoric to voice their disapproval of the discussion.

It appears that Greenblatt soon deleted his tweet and reposted The ability for users to reply is disabled.

However, the backlash from far-right users on X continued. The hashtag #BanTheADL was quickly embraced not only by right-wing users of the platform, but also by notable far-right figures such as white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Charlie Kirk from Turning Point USA. fuentes called explicitly that his followers help fuel the hashtag trend on both his livestream show and his Telegram channel.

#BanTheADL has since become a top trending topic on X. At the time of publication, it was the second largest trending trend in the United States on the platform, with more than 100,000 posts.

#BanTheADL trending

Far-right figures have included the hashtag #BanTheADL in the platform’s trending topics.
Image credit: Mashable screenshot

Musk himself soon began liking anti-ADL posts in support of the #BanTheADL hashtag, just hours after the ADL said it had had a fruitful discussion with officials at his company. In particular, Musk began liking content from Keith Woods antisemitic YouTuber with ties to white nationalist Richard Spencer. Woods was a speaker at the white supremacist American Renaissance Conference just last month. He also runs a live stream on Fuentes’ own video platform Cozy TV. Woods had previously been banned from Twitter but was reinstated on the platform just months after Musk acquired him.

Elon Musk "likes" Posted by Keith Woods

One of three posts by far-right Keith Woods promoting the hashtag #BanTheADL, which Elon Musk liked.
Image credit: Mashable screenshot

Musk even went a step further and responded to one of Wood’s anti-ADL tweets.

“ADL went to great lengths to strangle X/Twitter,” he said.

Elon Musk's response to Keith Woods

Elon Musk’s response to Keith Woods, a far-right internet personality.
Image credit: Mashable screenshot

While this was playing out, users of X also noticed that they were being served a white supremacist advertisement on the platform. A verified user subscribing to X Premium, the paid subscription service formerly known as Twitter Blue, paid to promote a post on X that shared white supremacist rhetoric.

The post contained an image with the text “14 words“, a nod to a slogan popular with white supremacists.

“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” reads the picture to which the quote is attributed David Lanethe white supremacist who invented the slogan.

White supremacist ads run on X

An ad ran on X promoting white supremacist rhetoric.
Image credit: Mashable screenshot

The user who placed the ad included a “Follow if you’re ok with this” call-to-action in the post. The post was displayed with the official tags “Advertised” or “Promoted”, which means that it ran through X’s official advertising platform. At the time of publication, the account had nearly 2,000 followers and the ad had garnered nearly 200,000 impressions.

Shortly after the Twitter takeover, Musk had previously spoken to the ADL along with other concerned civil rights groups. Musk himself received criticism about these conversations of his right-wing supporters. However, talks between Musk and the civil rights groups quickly erupted got mad Musk dismissed proposed plans for a “moderation council.”


Elon Musk wants to remove headlines from news articles about X

The ADL, along with other civil rights groups, had called on brands to do so Stop advertising on the platform until Musk and the company properly addressed hate speech and other content moderation concerns. Since Musk’s acquisition, some brands have exited the platform entirely, while others have scaled back ad spend. The company had half lost one of its biggest advertisers in the months following Musk’s acquisition and have kept fighting by calling them back. (Interestingly, the progressive Jewish news agency Forward recently reported that the ADL appears to have started advertising again on X itself just last month.)

Musk followed this up early last month with a legal threat against one such anti-hate and extremism research group, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). X filed a lawsuit against the organization seeking damages for alleged advertising losses resulting from the CCDH’s work.

An ADL spokesperson provided Mashable with the following statement regarding the trending #BanTheADL hashtag campaign on X:

“The ADL is neither surprised nor deterred that anti-Semites, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and other trolls have launched a coordinated attack on our organization. This is nothing new.”

This onslaught follows our participation in the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, where the ADL proudly marched alongside African American leaders and members of other minority communities. It also follows a meeting with the leadership of X, formerly known as Twitter, which has evidently angered these hateful groups.

Such insidious efforts do not deter us. Instead, they drive us to work tirelessly to combat hate in all its forms and to ensure the safety of Jewish communities and other marginalized groups.”

Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: ChrissyCallahan@worldtimetodays.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button