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3 Sep, 2023 07:06

Elon Musk proposes poll on banning Anti-Defamation League

‘BanTheADL’ is trending on X (formerly Twitter) as the organization is accused of hindering free speech
Elon Musk proposes poll on banning Anti-Defamation League

Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter), is contemplating a poll on banning the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) from his social media platform, as #BanTheADL trends on X. 

“Perhaps we should run a poll on this?” Musk tweeted on Saturday, in response to a post suggesting that the trend demonstrates that people are done “with the ‘we’re labeling everything we don’t like as hateful/racist/dangerous/far-right’ BS,” and are no longer afraid of the ADL’s “intimidation tactics.”  

According to media reports, the campaign was initiated following a meeting between the ADL’s national director, Jonathan Greenblatt, and X CEO Linda Yaccarino, in which the “rampant hate speech” on the site was addressed. 

Greenblatt’s tweet about the “very frank + productive conversation” sparked a number of prominent conservative accounts to push the hashtag #BanTheADL, accusing the group of stifling free speech.

One of the users called the ADL and similar groups “radical left wing hate groups,” to which Musk responded: “it would be difficult to describe them as centrist.” He said in another tweet that the “ADL has tried very hard to strangle X/Twitter.” 

The feud between Musk and the ADL kicked off shortly after the businessman acquired Twitter in April 2022, following Musk’s cancelation of proposed plans for a ‘moderation council’. 

The ADL, along with other civil rights groups, called for a complete ban on advertising on the platform until the company properly addresses hate speech and other content moderation concerns.

Musk argued at the time that “a vast coalition of political/social activists” is to blame for Twitter not having a moderating committee. He added that despite the promise “not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenues,” provided the conditions are agreed upon, the activists “broke the deal” by failing to fulfill their end of the deal.