Elon Musk’s influential free-speech platform X has come under a full-scale assault by Big Tech and media titans after a manufactured controversy about alleged ‘antisemitism.’
The following tech and media companies, as well as a governmental body, have recently suspended their advertising on X:
• Warner Bros
• NBC Universal
• European Commission
The attack on X came in the aftermath of the APEC summit in San Francisco and a reported secretive media summit at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Musk was initially put in the crosshairs by a familiar left-wing advocacy group with an extensive history of intellectual dishonesty: Media Matters for America.
As reported by the New York Times, on Thursday, “IBM pulled about $1 million in ad spending from X after Media Matters for America, a left-wing advocacy group, showed that ads were appearing ‘next to content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.’ Other big brands, including Apple and Oracle, were also appearing next to the content. And a major Tesla shareholder said Musk’s behavior was damaging the carmaker’s brand.”
However, there are now serious questions about whether or not evidence of this alleged conflict of interest for these brands was manufactured.
Media Matters’ screenshots show @Apple ads being served next to this content.
𝕏 tells me that they analyzed their logs, and there is no evidence that the Apple ad was served next to any of the posts in the chain. This analysis encompassed all possible placements. The sweep also… https://t.co/X938WdjhDl pic.twitter.com/zY3WveaRF2
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) November 18, 2023
ALX, a conservative influencer, posted a number of screenshots of the alleged ad placements and reported that X denied being able to locate the problematic ad spots in logs.
“Media Matters’ screenshots show @Apple ads being served next to this content,” ALX noted. “𝕏 tells me that they analyzed their logs, and there is no evidence that the Apple ad was served next to any of the posts in the chain. This analysis encompassed all possible placements. The sweep also analyzed posts 2 posts away. Is Media Matters using fake screenshots?”
This is a major issue with Big Tech titans like IBM using a radical advocacy group’s purported research as the pretext to cause punitive or reputational damage to an entrepreneur like Elon Musk: It opens up a serious risk of litigation.
This is exactly what Musk intends to pursue as soon as courts reopen.
The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company pic.twitter.com/55vl7PspaQ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2023
“The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company,” he noted.
Those who threw in lot with radical advocacy group Media Matters may be in legal hot water.
Kanekoa the Great, an independent journalist, also pointed out flaws in IBM’s use of the Media Matters claims to cancel its ad spend on X.
Media Matters, a far-left organization notorious for smear articles and opposing the First Amendment, is meticulously scrolling through obscure, low-follower accounts on X in search of advertisements displayed alongside racist content.
All aimed at deliberately tarnishing the… pic.twitter.com/YQin9NuBnJ
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) November 18, 2023
“Media Matters, a far-left organization notorious for smear articles and opposing the First Amendment, is meticulously scrolling through obscure, low-follower accounts on X in search of advertisements displayed alongside racist content,” Kanekoa pointed out.
“All aimed at deliberately tarnishing the reputation of the sole major tech platform that supports the principles of free speech and the First Amendment,” he continued.
“The irony is that virtually no one on the planet is meticulously scrolling through these obscure accounts on X to view these ads—except for the Media Matters employees deliberately searching for this content,” he added.
However, the fringe, outlier cases of alleged ad placements next to undesirable content were used as fodder for a narrative that Elon Musk is an “antisemite.”
At the forefront of pushing this narrative was the New York Times, one of the organized left’s preferred outlets for political attacks disguised as reporting.
“Less than 24 hours after Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic post on X as ‘the actual truth’ of what Jewish people were doing, IBM paused its advertising on the social media platform as X’s chief executive, Linda Yaccarino, and others at the company scrambled on Thursday to contain the fallout,” the NYT reported.
“X employees said on Thursday that they had gotten calls from advertisers wondering why Mr. Musk was making comments seen as antisemitic and why their ads were showing up next to white nationalist and Nazi content, according to internal messages that were viewed by The New York Times,” the report added. “IBM cut off about $1 million in advertising spending that it had committed to the platform for the last three months of the year, the messages said.”
The core of the dispute is Elon Musk’s commentary on an X post that criticized the “Jewish communities” for pushing alleged “dialectical hatred against whites.”
You have said the actual truth
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2023
“You have said the actual truth,” Musk commented.
The issue in the post is both the specialized jargon and the lack of specificity, but Elon Musk was quick to close off open-ended interpretations in subsequent remarks on the thread.
Musk pointed to the Anti-Defamation League, a left-leaning organization that he had sparred with in the past, as an example of the Jewish community he had in mind.
“The ADL unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel,” he remarked. “This is because they cannot, by their own tenets, criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat. It is not right and needs to stop.”
“[You’re] right that this does not extend to all Jewish communities, but it is also not just limited to ADL,” he added in response to a commenter. “And, at the risk of being repetitive, I am deeply offended by ADL’s messaging and any other groups who push de facto anti-white racism or anti-Asian racism or racism of any kind. I’m sick of it. Stop now.”
However, the New York Times reported on the pushback to Musk’s remarks among some Jewish organizations, invoking the typical framing that it was “far-right.”
“Jewish groups have compared the statement that Mr. Musk endorsed to the ‘Great Replacement Theory,’ the far-right idea that minorities are replacing white European populations,” the Times stated.
“It is the deadliest antisemitic conspiracy theory in modern U.S. history,” the American Jewish Committee, a U.S.-based Israel advocacy group, wrote on X on Thursday. “To amplify it on @X is incredibly dangerous.”
Wikipedia, which is soon to be replaced by Artificial Intelligence algorithms such as the X-affiliated Grok, has already posted the smear that Musk is a “far right conspiracy theorist” on his biographical page.
— @amuse (@amuse) November 18, 2023
Musk promoted the analysis of the X exchange provided by conservative Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro. It is well worth watching in full.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2023
In the extensive overview, Shapiro notes that the major media have provided muted criticism to virulent antisemitism, including Hamas’ genocidal mass murder and hostage-taking of Jews in Israel, but has chosen to focus on Elon Musk X thread.
The affair is undoubtedly odd and smacks of a contrived media takedown campaign.
A corresponding analysis of the situation was further provided by the account of Shibetoshi Nakamoto, an account that frequently associates with Musk.
i find it really interesting how the media and advertisers continually only target 𝕏, while tiktok, reddit, facebook, instagram, and everything else are wildly antisemitic recently
hell, tiktokers are even supporting osama bin laden
is only “leftist” antisemitism okay?
— Shibetoshi Nakamoto (@BillyM2k) November 17, 2023
“i find it really interesting how the media and advertisers continually only target 𝕏, while tiktok, reddit, facebook, instagram, and everything else are wildly antisemitic recently,” the account noted. “hell, tiktokers are even supporting osama bin laden… is only ‘leftist’ antisemitism okay?”
“Great question,” Musk remarked.
As for Musk’s dispute with the ADL, he was able to procure a positive remark from Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the organization.
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) November 17, 2023
Greenblatt agreed with Musk’s remarks about pro-Palestine demonstrators’ invocation of “from the river to the sea” and “decolonization” as euphemisms for genocide.
Ashley St. Clair, another conservative influencer, also demonstrated the irony of IBM being at the forefront of the X advertising boycott.
The companies pulling out of advertising on X because of coordinated attacks from the Media + White House are some of the most morally bankrupt organizations on the planet.
Between IBM, Apple, and Lionsgate, they have a great track record of:
•Child slave labor
— Ashley St. Clair (@stclairashley) November 17, 2023
“The companies pulling out of advertising on X because of coordinated attacks from the Media + White House are some of the most morally bankrupt organizations on the planet,” she remarked. “Between IBM, Apple, and Lionsgate, they have a great track record of”:
• Child slave labor
• Rat-infested working conditions
• Human rights violations
• Sexual assault settlements
• Literally enabling Nazi Germany
“But please, I hope their virtue signal brings you peace as they continue to throw humanity into a dystopian nightmare,” she noted.
St. Clair was referring to IBM in her remark about Nazi Germany, as she made clear elsewhere.
Media Matters ran a hit piece with unverified screenshots claiming ads ran next to “anti-semitic content”
IBM pulled all ads on X within hours to save face
Don’t worry IBM, I don’t think you can possibly make a worse brand deal than the one you did in 1933
(P.S. Media Matters,… pic.twitter.com/5SP3ABhSD9
— Ashley St. Clair (@stclairashley) November 17, 2023
Antisemitism isn’t the same thing as criticizing Woke Jewish organizations for ideological blinders that prevent them from seeing antisemites. This is the crux of the problem with the criticism of Elon Musk’s comments.
America has experienced a wave of pro-Palestine protests, some of them violent, in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel, and the Jewish nation’s retaliation. It is a demonstration of Musk’s point about some Jewish communities promoting the immigration of those who despise them and seek to wipe Israel off the map.
Thus arises the heart of the matter: What is actually behind the attacks on Elon Musk and his free speech platform X?
While it is necessarily difficult to demonstrate explicit linkages, due to the secretive nature of the parties involved, it is difficult to ignore the political timing of the attack campaign.
Business Insider reported on Tuesday about a highly coveted meeting between Xi Jinping and Big Tech titans at the APEC summit in San Francisco.
Tech titans are expected to converge on San Francisco this week for some face time with the president of China. For the first time in 12 years, the US is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, and the stage is set for America-based CEOs to improve their professional relationship with China. As such, a dinner invite from Chinese President Xi Jinping is highly coveted by executives attending the meeting.
Among those scheduled to attend APEC are Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Citigroup’s Jane Fraser, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and more.
Many leaders in tech have been invited to dinner with Xi, and others are trying their best to score a seat at the table, Bloomberg reported. Although the dinner isn’t listed on APEC’s official schedule, Reuters reported that it’s set to take place on Wednesday.
However, suspiciously, Elon Musk was replaced at APEC’s Artificial Intelligence summit with Biden’s Climate Envoy John Kerry. As Fox News reported:
Elon Musk will not take part in one of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit’s Thursday sessions geared toward artificial intelligence (AI) anymore.
The APEC CEO Summit 2023 has swapped in U.S. climate envoy John Kerry as the one of the two speakers participating in the “A Summit Spotlight 1:1 Conversation on AI and the Future,” per the conference’s online program.
“Elon Musk had a schedule change that prevented him from joining the APEC CEO Summit 2023,” the APEC CEO Summit 2023 said. “We’re thankful for his offer to join the session remotely, however, it was agreed among all speakers that participating would be in person. We look forward to Elon joining us at a future APEC CEO Summit.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t attend APEC, but a government-affairs official went in his place, according to Bloomberg.
Biden, during his remarks at APEC’s Leaders Retreat, briefly mentioned AI.
Just last month, I signed an executive order here in the States to set new AI standards for public and private sectors in the United States, such as requiring developers of the most powerful AI systems to share their safety test results with the U.S. government — this is in the U.S.; strengthen technologies to protecting our privacy; and preventing employees from using AI to exploit their worker — employers from using AI to exploit their workers.
We’re also expanding grants for AI research in key areas like healthcare and climate change, where it has great potential.
The Biden administration is focusing on the future of AI and has made it a core agenda item to enforce “diversity and equity” among those who offer the service, such as Elon Musk and his developing AI platform Grok.
In July, Big Tech companies announced an alliance to collude on Artificial Intelligence to push the radical left’s agenda.
Kamala Harris explains AI:
"AI is kind of a fancy thing. First of all, it's two letters. It means 'Artificial Intelligence.'" pic.twitter.com/yurodfTOY9
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 12, 2023
An investigation by the American Accountability Foundation uncovered the ‘Woke’ partnership that has developed between technology corporations and radical activists.
“Our investigation has revealed a ‘partnership’ between the world’s biggest tech companies to together rig AI to be woke,” AAF reported. “The partnership explicitly cites Karl Marx and Critical Race Theory in their plans.”
2/ Many have noticed that AI today has a distinct woke, leftist bias. Systems like ChatGPT and Bard have taken clear positions on political and social issues.
This is very concerning. As @elonmusk put it "The danger of training AI to be woke – in other words, lie – is deadly."
— American Accountability Foundation (@ExposingBiden) July 11, 2023
But less transparent than the APEC Leaders Summit was a reported Big Tech and media retreat hosted by Microsoft at Los Cabos, Mexico. However, confirmation of the attendance and agenda of this reported summit has been difficult to establish.
However, the European Union’s recent invitation to open an office in San Francisco is another concerning development in the backdrop of the X attacks.
Breaking: Biden regime allows @EU to open "office" in San Francisco to enable foreign powers to more easily harass and control American Big Tech companies to push left-wing censorship of Americans and others world-wide. @EU forcing @ElonMusk's @Twitter to go through "stress test"…
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) June 22, 2023
“Biden regime allows @EU to open ‘office‘ in San Francisco to enable foreign powers to more easily harass and control American Big Tech companies to push left-wing censorship of Americans and others world-wide. @EU forcing @ElonMusk’s @Twitter [X] to go through ‘stress test’ to ensure EU Big Bother [sic] regs can be enforced on users. (EU regulators are being used by Biden gang as cut-outs to push agenda to control Internet that Biden can’t do directly through Congress or under law.),” Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton remarked in June.
Beyond the politics that is overshadowing the Big Tech and media boycott of X is a more tangible additional motive: Money.
Fake corporate new media is making up stuff again.
Remember, the legacy media are competitors for advertising dollars with X. So they are incentivized to create a false narrative.
Their sources for this graphic are the NY Times and the Anti Defamation League (ADL). Not exactly… pic.twitter.com/JPWunvqoDf
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) November 15, 2023
“Fake corporate new media is making up stuff again,” Wall Street Silver remarked. “Remember, the legacy media are competitors for advertising dollars with X. So they are incentivized to create a false narrative.”
“Their sources for this graphic are the NY Times and the Anti Defamation League (ADL). Not exactly legitimate objective sources,” he commented.
Thus, the expected X lawsuit will be a fascinating legal front in the war on free speech.
On Saturday, X issued a missive to “stand with X to protect free speech”:
This week Media Matters for America posted a story that completely misrepresented the real user experience on X, in another attempt to undermine freedom of speech and mislead advertisers.
Above everything, including profit, X works to protect the public’s right to free speech. But for speech to be truly free, we must also have the freedom to see or hear things that some people may consider objectionable. We believe that everyone has the right to make up their own minds about what to read, watch, or listen to – because that’s the power of freedom of speech.
Despite our clear and consistent position, X has seen a number of attacks from activist groups like Media Matters and legacy media outlets who seek to undermine freedom of expression on our platform because they perceive it as a threat to their ideological narrative and those of their financial supporters. These groups try to use their influence to attack our revenue streams by deceiving advertisers on X.
Here are the facts on Media Matters’ research, according to the missive:
- To manipulate the public and advertisers, Media Matters created an alternate account and curated the posts and advertising appearing on the account’s timeline to misinform advertisers about the placement of their posts. These contrived experiences could be applied to any platform.
- Once they curated their feed, they repeatedly refreshed their timelines to find a rare instance of ads serving next to the content they chose to follow. Our logs indicate that they forced a scenario resulting in 13 times the number of ads served compared to the median ads served to an X user.
- Of the 5.5 billion ad impressions on X that day, less than 50 total ad impressions were served against all of the organic content featured in the Media Matters article.
- For one brand showcased in the article, one of its ads ran adjacent to a post 2 times and that ad was seen in that setting by only two users, one of which was the author of the Media Matters article.
- For another brand showcased in the article, two of its ads served adjacent to 2 posts, 3 times, and that ad was only seen in that setting by one user, the author of the Media Matters article.
- Media Matters’ article also highlights nine posts they believe should not be allowed on X. Upon evaluation, only one of the nine organic posts featured in the article violated our content policies, and we’ve taken action on it under our Freedom of Speech, Not Reach enforcement approach.
X then posted a summary:
- X will protect the public’s right to free expression. We will not allow agenda-driven activists, or even our own profits, to deter our vision.
- Everyone has a choice on X. User and brand controls on X are superior to a year ago.
- Data wins over allegations. Media Matters does not reflect the user experience on X.
“As we’ve seen in some parts of the world, when free expression is taken away, it is very dangerous and hard to get back – that’s why the people who came before us fought so hard to protect,” X notes. “Without freedom of speech we lose the checks and balances critical to a thriving democracy. We must defend our individual rights as if our lives, and flourishing society, depend on it.”
“If you’re really in on protecting free speech, then we all need to protect it completely. Stand with X to protect free speech.”