ADL CEO Responds To Elon Musk’s Lawsuit Threat: “I’ve Got To Do My Job, Which Is To Fight Hate”

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of ADL, the Anti-Defamation League, responded to Twitter/X owner’s threat to sue the organization by pointing to the rise in antisemitism across the country.

In an appearance on CNN Primetime, Greenblatt told host Abby Phillip, “The reality is, this claim that Elon wants to sue us — look, I can’t really tell you what’s in his head. I’ve read the same tweets that you have.

“But what’s alarming is the rise of antisemitism across the country. Like, we’ve got to see the big picture here. Literally, anti-Jewish acts have reached historic levels in the United States. The highest number we’ve seen in 40-some-odd years of tracking it.”

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Over the weekend, Musk threatened to sue the ADL “to clear our platform’s name on the matter of anti-Semitism.” He accused the ADL of making “unfounded accusations” against Twitter/X that has scared off advertisers.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Greenblatt noted that Musk “spent the weekend engaging with a highly toxic, antisemitic campaign on his platform — a campaign started by an unrepentant bigot that then was heavily promoted by individuals such as white supremacist Nick Fuentes, Christian nationalist Andrew Torba, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and others.” Greenblatt also noted an incident in which “masked men marched in Florida on Saturday brazenly waving flags adorned with swastikas and chanting ‘Ban the ADL.’”

Greenblatt told Phillip that the #BanTheADL hashtag was initiated after he met with Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X, who has been trying to convince advertisers that the platform is a safe space. But a number of organizations have seen a rise in hate speech on the platform as Musk, Yaccarino’s boss, has reinstated accounts.

Walt Mossberg, the technology journalist, said that he had deactivated his Twitter/X account as the platform “has not only decided to stop blocking bigots, liars and pro-insurrectionists, it has actively welcomed them, with apparent support from Mr. Musk.” Mossberg wrote on Threads that Musk’s threat to sue the ADL was “the last straw for me.”

In his interview with Phillip, Greenblatt said, “I’m deeply worried about the antisemitism affecting American Jews. Frivolous lawsuits, wild claims, I can’t respond to them. I’ve got to do my job, which is to fight hate.”

Musk has claimed that he is a free speech absolutist, but he’s also suspended the accounts of journalists who reported on the movements of his private jet or even the dispute over the situation. The Washington Post reported last month that Twitter/X was slowing the speeds with which users could access The New York Times and Facebook, as well as other news organizations, that are either rivals or have drawn his ire.

Greenblatt said later in the interview, “I actually am someone who deeply believes in the First Amendment. And I think hate speech — speech you don’t like — that’s the price of free speech.

“But the question is, are you elevating it? Are you expanding it? Are you making it easy to see for children and other people? Are you finding ways to de-amplify it and to tamp it down?”

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