As anti-Semitism rises after Elon Musk takeover, ADL calls for Twitter ad boycott

JTA – Jewish groups thought Elon Musk was listening to them about anti-Semitism on Twitter. Then Kanye West came back.

The week after the rapper who now goes to Ye lost most of his approval due to his antisemitic remarks, and amid an apparent surge in broader antisemitic content on the platform, the Anti-Defamation League met up with Musk, the mercurial new social media giant. Owner, about keeping hate speech off the site.

Three days later, all goodwill has moved on from the meeting, as anti-Jewish content on Twitter testifies.”heavy boomAccording to the Network Contagion Research Institute, a company that monitors the spread of hate and misinformation online. The institute said Friday that “terms associated with Jew are tweeted more than 5,000 times an hour,” and that “the most interactive tweets are openly anti-Semitic.”

Meanwhile, West began calling individual Jews, such as music mogul Scooter Brown and sports-branded businessman Jimmy Salter, on his account, and anti-Semitic internet networks used Musk’s property as an opportunity to unleash a tight press full of hate. content on the site.

Now, instead of working alongside Musk to develop new content moderation tools, ADL is calling on all advertisers to suspend their relationship with Twitter, while offering a scathing critique of Musk’s leadership.

“We met with Elon Musk earlier this week to express our deepest concerns about some of his plans and the rise in toxic content following its acquisition,” Stop Hate For Profit Consortium, a group that includes ADL, said in a statement. “Since that time, hate and misinformation have spread, and he has taken action that makes us fear the worst is yet to come.”

In this December 13, 2016, photo, Kanye West walks into Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The group’s relationship with Musk was derailed with astonishing speed. In their initial meeting, the ADL and several coalition members including the NAACP, Color of Change, the Asian American Foundation, and the Free Press group to advocate for media rights, pushed Musk to develop powerful tools for moderating content.

The groups also tried to persuade Musk to stop tweeting conspiracy theories and problematic content himself. The businessman previously tweeted, and then deleted, a link to a right-wing conspiracy theory involving a man who attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband at his home (the attacker himself was active in several anti-Semitic conspiracy theories online).

Musk tweeted his approval of the ADL meeting afterwards (a move It angered some of his anti-Semitic fans), and ADL Vice President Yael Eisenstadt for Protocol that Musk assured the groups he didn’t want Twitter to become a “hate amplifier.”

But by late Thursday, West – one of the most popular Twitter users, with 38 million followers – began his latest antisemitic sermon on the platform, which was recently brought back after being suspended for hate speech. Musk said he played no role in bringing West back into office.

Apparently spurred by the media attention given by Brooklyn Nets player Keri Irving in the wake of the anti-Semitism controversy by the Star Guards, West published a series of conspiratorial messages about various Jewish figures. Aside from Brown and Salter, he called up celebrity personal trainer Harley Pasternak and Amare Stoudemire – the former NBA star who converted to Orthodox Judaism in 2020 and had a short stint as an assistant coach for the Nets.

Brooklyn Nets guard Keri Irving watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in New York. (AFP/Jessie Shih)

West tweeted in defense of Irving, who shared a link to an anti-Semitic documentary: “You can’t be an anti-Semite when you know you’re a Semitic.” Irving had voiced the same idea at a press conference on October 29, which prompted the Nets to suspend his work. He later apologized for his speech.

In subsequent tweets, West said, “They make us bully ourselves because of our business compatibility.”

Referring to Stoudemire, who is black and criticized Irving for his refusal to condemn anti-Semitism, West wrote, “They make us attack each other.”[,] Even our brothers who really know who we are. “

The wording of West’s tweets indicated common tropes circulated among communities of Black Hebrew Israelites, including that they were the genealogical descendants of the ancient Israelites. As of Friday afternoon, West’s account remained active on Twitter.

Also recently returned to Twitter: The account of Mark Finchim, the Arizona Republican nominee for Secretary of State, whose account has been suspended. Fenchem, who reportedly received $10,000 in donations from the far-right anti-government militia Oath Keepers despite insisting he is not a member of the group, regularly tweets references to Jewish billionaires George Soros and Mike Bloomberg of “funding” his rival Democratic Party. He also proudly accepted the endorsement of Andrew Torba, an outspoken anti-Semite and founder of the social media platform Gap, which is rife with anti-Semites.

From left, Cristina Karamo, nominee for Michigan Secretary of State, Mark Finchim, nominee for Arizona Secretary of State and Jim Marchant, nominee for Nevada Secretary of State, attend a US conference on conspiracy theories about voting machines and distorted allegations about the 2020 presidential election. Elections at a hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida, September 10, 2022 (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

Finchem’s account was restored just over a week before the midterm elections and before Musk’s meeting with the ADL. The candidate, who also denied the results of the 2020 election, thanked Musk for bringing him back to his post, saying, “Twitter is much better with you in the lead.”

Like other right-wing politicians and media people who regularly refer to Soros, Finchem said such behavior is not anti-Semitic. He refuted the accusation of anti-Semitism by saying:i love jewsBut he has also frequently used language calling his opponents “Marxists,” a charge historically made by anti-Semitic people dating back to the Great Depression, radio preacher Father Coughlin, against liberal or secular Jews.

All of this activity came as Twitter employees braced for a round of mass layoffs on Friday, with as many as half of the company’s 7,500 jobs reportedly at stake — creating more chaos at the company as Musk sought to rethink the Its operations are from top to bottom. . Layoffs could threaten future efforts to craft new, coherent policies on how content is moderated and how accounts are reinstated. Musk said such a process would take “weeks”.

Twitter is headquartered on Market Street on November 4, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (David Odisho/Getty Images/AFP)

As Musk advanced his plans, and threats of real-world violence multiplied in synagogues, Jewish users expressed their anger and frustration. A few of them said they would leave altogether.

“At this point in time, we call on advertisers to pause their spending globally until it becomes clear whether Twitter remains committed to being a safe place for advertisers and the community in general,” Stop Hate For Profit said in its statement.

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