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ADL Says They Will Start Advertising on X Again

The ADL then denied that they were behind efforts to boycott X or “‘pulling the strings’ for other advertisers
[additional-authors]
October 5, 2023
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The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that they will restart their advertising on X, formerly known as Twitter, and denied being behind efforts to boycott the platform.

The ADL’s statement read: “As we have noted in our research over the past several years, X – along with other social media platforms – has a serious issue with antisemites and other extremists using these platforms to push their hateful ideas and, in some cases, bully Jewish and other users. We appreciate X’s stated intent over the last few weeks to address antisemitism and hate on the platform. This has been useful; more needs to be done; and, as we have with other companies, in the spirit of collaboration, we are hopeful that we can continue to engage with X on this important matter.”

The ADL then denied that they were behind efforts to boycott X or “‘pulling the strings’ for other advertisers.” “We ourselves were advertising on the platform until the anti-ADL attacks began a few weeks ago,” the Jewish group added. “We now are preparing to do so again to bring our important message on fighting hate to X and its users. A better, healthier, and safer X would be a win for the world. We’ve said that publicly and repeatedly, and we hope that company leadership shares that goal as well. As we do with all platforms, we will credit X as it moves in that direction, and we also will call it out when it has not.”

X owner Elon Musk responded to the ADL within a couple of posts on X stating: “Thank you for clarifying that you support advertising on 𝕏. And also very much appreciate that ADL has bought advertising on 𝕏.”

Musk and the ADL had been feuding in public recently, which culminated in Musk threatening in September to file a defamation lawsuit against the Jewish group, as he blamed them for X’s loss in advertising revenue. ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt responded to Musk at the time by saying that it was “profoundly disturbing that Elon Musk spent the weekend engaging with a highly toxic, antisemitic campaign on his platform” and called Musk’s lawsuit threat “frivolous.”

In November, the ADL had joined a coalition of groups that called for “advertisers to pause” their spending on X “until it becomes clear whether Twitter remains committed to being a safe place for advertisers as well as society overall.” A spokesperson for the ADL told The Forward in August that the ADL had always intended for “these actions to be a pause, and ADL recognized that some organizations — especially nonprofits and small businesses — may need to return to the platforms. ADL needs to be where the antisemites and extremists are, and when those bad actors are on a platform as large and influential as Twitter/X, we need to be able to reach people.” The Forward had reported at the time that at that point, the ADL had resumed advertising on X but it was not clear when exactly they did so.

Musk repeatedly said in a space on X last week that his platform’s approach toward dealing with “hateful but legal” speech is to use X’s algorithms to suppress the reach of such hateful posts. Musk also claimed that various third parties concluded that hate speech has declined on the platform since he bought it; the ADL had published a couple of reports in May criticizing X’s content moderation efforts.

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