ADL CEO says Elon Musk’s insinuation to sue over defamation is merely a ‘threat of a frivolous lawsuit’

Elon Musk’s recent remarks implying that the real-time messaging platform formerly known as Twitter would sue the Anti-Defamation League for defamation are merely a “threat of a frivolous lawsuit,” according to Jonathan Greenblatt, the organization’s CEO.

In a statement provided to CNBC, Greenblatt refuted claims Musk made over the Labor Day holiday weekend that the ADL was “trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic.” According to the CEO of the nonprofit, Musk’s “behavior is not just alarming nor reckless.”

ADL CEO says Elon Musk’s insinuation to sue over defamation is merely a ‘threat of a frivolous lawsuit’

Greenblatt characterized it as “absolutely dangerous and profoundly irresponsible.” “Before it’s too late, we need responsible leaders to take charge, to stop inciting hatred, and to pull back from the edge.”

The ADL leader made these remarks in response to Musk’s Monday assertion that the ADL was to blame for “pressuring advertisers” and causing a 60% decrease in X’s advertising revenue. ADL “has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic,” according to Musk, ever since he acquired the messaging service last year in a deal valued at around $44 billion.

Musk stated that if the ADL continues to reportedly pressurize advertisers, X, the business formerly known as Twitter, will “no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit.”

After Musk took ownership of the messaging app last fall, numerous civil rights organizations and researchers have observed an increase in hate speech, racial remarks, and other offensive messages on X.

For instance, the organization Center for Countering Digital Hate alleged in a study it issued in June that X had neglected to take action against a number of Twitter Blue (now X Premium) customers who had uploaded offensive content.

X filed a federal court lawsuit against the CCDH in August, claiming the organization had illegally stolen data from X using techniques including data scraping to “falsely claim it had statistical support showing the platform is overwhelmed with harmful content.”

The studies from the CCDH, according to X’s legal representatives, were based on “flawed methodologies” and stopped advertisers from executing marketing campaigns on the messaging service, which hurt X’s company.

Greenblatt wrote in an X post last week that he and newly appointed X CEO Linda Yaccarino had a “very frank + productive conversation” about how “to address hate effectively on the platform,” and that he “appreciated her reaching out and I’m hopeful the service will improve.”

According to Greenblatt, he will give Musk and the former global advertising director at NBCUniversal “credit if the service gets better… and reserve the right to call them out until it does.”

#BanTheADL started trending on X shortly after Greenblatt made a comment about his chat, as several users demanded that the organization be banned from the messaging app. For instance, far-right livestreamer Nick Fuentes, who has made antisemitic remarks in the past, urged his viewers to donate to the #BanTheADL campaign.

Musk then started commenting on and like some of the anti-ADL postings on X. He even replied to a few of them.

Musk responded to YouTube streamer Keith Woods, whose anti-Semitic content the ADL has claimed in the past, saying, “ADL has tried very hard to strangle X/Twitter.”

“It is profoundly troubling that Elon Musk spent the weekend participating in a highly toxic, antisemitic campaign on his platform — a campaign started by an unrepentant bigot and heavily promoted by people like white supremacist Nick Fuentes, Christian nationalist Andrew Torba, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and others,” Greenblatt said.

The campaign was finally seen in action as masked individuals marched in Florida on Saturday while blatantly carrying flags with swastika designs and yelling “Ban the ADL.

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