Elon Musk Likes Trending #BanTheADL Posts As White Supremacy Ad Goes Live On Platform

Elon Musk Likes Trending #BanTheADL Posts As White Supremacy Ad Goes Live On Platform

Over 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 concerning is that X owner Elon Musk has signaled his support for attacks against the ADL on the platform.

During the same time frame, numerous X users also reported receiving an X-approved advertisement promoting white supremacy on the platform.


Here’s what Elon Musk added to the new X terms of service

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

“Yesterday I had a very candid and productive conversation with @LindayaX about @X, what works and what doesn’t, and where she needs to go to effectively address hate on the platform,” Greenblatt wrote in a since-deleted post. “I appreciated reaching out from you and hope the service will improve. @ADL will be vigilant and credit you and @ElonMusk if the service improves…and reserves the right to call them out until that happens.”

Linda Yaccarino's response to ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt

Linda Yaccarino’s response to ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt’s deleted post.
Credit: Screenshots by Mashable

“A strong and productive partnership is built on good intentions and sincerity. Thank you Jonathan,” He answered Yaccarino, who was taken personally from Musk in May.

Almost immediately, hordes of right-wing users of the platform flocked to the LDA director post, voicing their disapproval of the discussion in anti-Semitic rhetoric.

It appears that Greenblatt soon deleted his tweet and reposted with the ability for users to reply turned off.

However, the backlash from far-right users to X has continued. The #BanTheADL hashtag was quickly boosted not only by right-wing users of the platform but also by prominent far-right personalities such as white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. Fuentes explicitly called for his followers to help create the hashtag trend on both his live stream show and his Telegram channel.

#BanTheADL has since become a huge trending topic on X. At the time of publishing, it was the second largest trend in the US on the platform with over 100,000 posts.

#BanTheADL is trending

Far-right personalities have included the hashtag #BanTheADL in the trending topics of the platform.
Credit: Screenshots by Mashable

Musk himself soon began liking anti-ADL posts in support of the hashtag #BanTheADL, just hours after the ADL said it had a fruitful discussion with representatives of his company. Musk specifically began to like content from Keith Woods, a anti-Semite YouTubers with ties to white nationalist Richard Spencer. Woods was a speaker at the White Supremacists’ American Renaissance Conference just last month. He also runs a live stream on Fuentes’ video platform, Cozy TV. Woods was previously banned on Twitter but was reinstated on the platform just months after Musk took over.

Elon Musk "pleases" Keith Woods post

One of three posts by far-right Keith Woods promoting the hashtag #BanTheADL that Elon Musk liked.
Credit: Screenshots by Mashable

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

“The ADL went out of its way to strangle X/Twitter,” he said.

Elon Musk's answer to Keith Woods

Elon Musk’s response to far-right internet personality Keith Woods.
Credit: Screenshots by Mashable

As all of this unfolded, X users also began to notice a white supremacist advertisement being shown to them on the platform. A verified user subscribed to X Premium, the paid subscription service formerly known as Twitter Blue, was paying to promote a post on X that shared white supremacist rhetoric.

The post included an image containing “14 words,” a reference to a slogan popular among white supremacists.

“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” reads the image, credited with the quote David Lanethe white supremacist who created the slogan.

White supremacist ad running on X

An ad promoting white supremacist rhetoric ran on X.
Credit: Screenshots by Mashable

The user who posted the ad included a “follow if you agree” call-to-action in the post. The post was shown with the official tags “ad” or “promoted,” meaning it was being published through X’s official advertising platform. At the time of posting, the account had just under 2,000 followers, and the ad had amassed nearly 200,000 impressions.

Musk previously spoke to the ADL along with other concerned civil rights groups shortly after acquiring Twitter. Musk himself received criticism on those speeches of his right-wing followers. However, talks between Musk and civil rights groups are moving quickly turned sour with Musk canceling proposed plans for a “moderation council”.


Elon Musk wants to remove headlines from X news articles

The ADL, along with other civil rights groups, had called for brands to do so stop advertising on the platform until Musk and company properly address hate speech and other content moderation issues. After the Musk acquisition, some brands have abandoned the platform entirely, while others have reduced their advertising costs. The company had lost half of its largest advertisers in the months following the Musk takeover he continued to struggle courting them back. (Interestingly, the progressive Jewish news channel Forward recently reported that the ADL appears to have started advertising again on X just last month.)

Earlier last month, Musk issued a legal threat against an anti-hate and extremism research group, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). x filed a lawsuit against the organization seeking damages for alleged losses of advertising sales as a result of the work of the CCDH.

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

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

This assault comes after our participation in the 60th Anniversary March on Washington where the ADL proudly marched side by side with African American leaders and those of other minority communities. Also following is a meeting with the leadership of X, formerly known as Twitter, which has clearly upset these hateful groups.

Such insidious efforts do not discourage us. Instead, they urge us to be unshakeable in our commitment to combat hate in all its forms and to ensure the safety of Jewish communities and other marginalized groups.”

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