In response to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report highlighting rising antisemitic and white supremacist content on X – formerly known as Twitter – the platform's owner, Elon Musk, tweeted that he was considering legal action against the organization. Claiming that the report was "falsely accusing [X] & [Musk] of being anti-Semitic," Musk argued in his Tweets that the platform's falling advertising revenue was the result of ADL pressure.
In the wake of Musk's Tweets, the hashtag #BanTheADL trended on the platform, and antisemitic users took the opportunity to spread hate on X and across other social media outlets. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists celebrated Musk's statements and spread misinformation about the founding of the ADL. Neo-Nazi accounts also took the opportunity to target senior figures within the ADL, specifically its CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt. Personally identifying information about Greenblatt was posted across a number of violent neo-Nazi spaces online.
Since Musk took ownership of the platform in December 2022, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other extremists including Jihadis have flocked back to Twitter, hoping to find a new audience for their propaganda. Prominent figures such as former Daily Stormer editor Andrew Anglin, neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes (under a pseudonymous account), white supremacist Keith Woods, and groups like the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement have returned to Twitter and gained significant followings. These extremists have viewed Musk's promise of a censorship-free "Digital Town Square" as an opportunity to regain a foothold in the more mainstream online space, and instances of extremist content on the platform have been on the rise since the beginning of 2023. MEMRI has reported extensively on extremist content on Twitter since Musk's takeover.
The following report highlights the responses of neo-Nazis and white supremacists to Elon Musk's threat to sue the ADL.
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Elon Musk Amplifies Antisemitism, Interacts With Neo-Nazis And White Supremacists On X
A white supremacist who was one of the most vocal proponents of the "#BanThe ADL" hashtag even before Musk's amplification of the trend, posted on September 5 a Tweet about an article from political scientist Norman Finkelstein about the ADL, saying " Found this interesting piece by Jewish political scientist Norman Finkelstein breaking down an ADL "index of anti-Semitism", which claimed a quarter of the world are anti-Semites… These ridiculously broad definitions of anti-Semitism and hate are what the ADL have used to fundraise and justify its aggressive censorship agenda." Elon Musk responded to the Tweet, saying "Wow."
Musk again interacted with the user on September 6, when Woods posted a tweet saying " Did you know? As recently as two years ago the ADL was discovered to have an entire team of 9 staff dedicated to editing Wikipedia to be more favourable to the ADL and working ADL sources into Wiki articles." Musk responded with an investigative emoji.
A white supremacist account retweeted on September 5 a tweet from another white supremacist account, which said "Jews used to be very supportive of free speech, but the younger generation is not." The user said "-65% of Jewish college students support censorship -19% of Mormon college students support censorship." Musk replied to the Tweet simply saying "!"
On September 7, Musk replied twice to an antisemitic video from a comedian using a stereotypical Jewish New York accent to mock the ADL and Jews. Musk responded first with a laughing emoji and a "100" emoji, before later saying "ADL does the equivalent of saying we need to ban not merely the words 'dog whistle,' but really any mentions of whistles whatsoever, which really affects the whistle community!"
Threats Of Violence Against Greenblatt And Other Jews Follow Musk's Tweets
In response to a Gab post from a neo-Nazi account which said " Watching Jonathan Greenblatt call everyone an antisemite for pointing out his extortion techniques at the adl should tell you all you need to know about the power of that label. He thinks he’s untouchable, and he’s right because rich powerful jews are funding his crime syndicate," a neo-Nazi user wrote " all kikes should be deported as enemy combatants or shot on sight as is required by law. these people are evil."
A neo-Nazi Gab user posted on September 7 about Jonathan Greenblatt. The message reads: "Jonathan Greenblatt has done more to destroy United States Israeli relations than any single person since world war II. Every time he opens his mouth he alienates a thousand people. Now nobody wants anything to do with Israelis or their Jewish influence. Jonathan greenblatt has made ADL the simultaneous meaning for Israel. If I were netanyahu I would drag him home across the ocean in a net and hang his wet hide up to dry."
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt Doxxed By Neo-Nazis
In a neo-Nazi Telegram chat group, a user forwarded a post doxxing ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and his wife. The post includes a graphic featuring photos of the couple as well as Greenblatt's office and home addresses.
Global Neo-Nazis And White Supremacists Use The Hashtag #BanTheADL And Celebrate Musk's Promotion Of It
A white supremacist Twitter user posted on September 5 a screenshot of a text conversation in which one person wrote: "You wanna know how fucked we are in America, I made that defund the ADL post and my work HR team just fired me lol." The user wrote: "My American friend, who is public on Twitter, got fired yesterday because of his #BanTheADL Tweets."
A Spanish neo-Nazi tweeted a a screenshot reading, "Trending in United Kingdom #BanTheADL 107K posts." The user wrote: "Well, it is working out well for us, this is something that five years ago we would have considered as unthinkable."
 For more information see MEMRI DTTM Report, Following Purchase Of Twitter By Elon Musk, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Accelerationists, Other Extremists Proliferated; Users Promote Antigovernment, Antisemitic, And Racist Propaganda, Call For Civil War, January 9, 2023.