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Musk to punish ‘genocide advocates’

The X chief’s comments come days after he was heavily criticized for appearing to agree with an anti-Semitic post on the platform

Elon Musk, owner the X social media network (formerly Twitter) has said that anyone appearing to condone or advocate for the genocide of any group of people on the service will be removed from the platform.

Musk, who last year finalized a multi-billion-dollar takeover of the company he later rebranded as X, has faced accusations that hate speech, including anti-Semitism, has increased significantly under his leadership. On Wednesday, Musk himself was accused of promoting an anti-Semitic trope after he said he agreed with a statement written by another user which suggested that Jewish people are stoking hatred against white people.

But, writing on X on Friday, Musk appeared to adopt a more neutral tone in his platform’s stewardship of controversial content. “At risk of stating the obvious, anyone advocating for the genocide of any group will be suspended from this platform,” he said.

The billionaire added that terms such as “decolonization” and “From the river to the sea” are phrases that “imply genocide” and would be sufficient to trigger a ban, adding that “clear calls for extreme violence are against our terms of service and will result in suspension.”

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Musk under fire after endorsing ‘anti-Semitic’ post

“Decolonization,” within the context of Israel, is generally considered to refer to the dismantling of the Jewish state. The rallying cry “From the river to the sea,” which refers to the geographic area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, is a call for peace and equality, many pro-Palestinian activists would say. Its critics, though, view it as a demand for the destruction of Israel.

Following Musk’s controversial post earlier this week, the American tech manufacturer IBM said that it was pulling its advertising spend from X.

“IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination,” the company said on Thursday. “We have immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this entirely unacceptable situation.” Additionally, the White House on Friday accused Musk of the “abhorrent promotion of anti-Semitic racist hate.”

On Thursday, X CEO Linda Yaccarino said that the platform has been clear in its mission statement to “combat anti-Semitism and discrimination,” adding that “there’s no place for it anywhere in the world.”

In addition to IBM, major companies such as NBCUniversal, Disney, Paramount and Apple were among several others that said they were withdrawing advertisements from X in protest at Musk’s Wednesday tweet. In July, Musk admitted that the social media company’s advertising revenue had plunged by about 50% since he took control.


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