Tesla and SpaceX owner Elon Musk has come under attack from multiple directions since his recent acquisition of the Twitter social media platform, with the most recent attackers including Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt who expressed his outrage in a series of tweets following the restoration of former President Donald Trump’s account on the site.
Trump was banned by Twitter in January 2021 in the wake of the January 6 riot and attack on Capitol Hill.
This weekend, Greenblatt wrote in a tweet that Musk’s decisions over the last month “have been erratic and alarming, but this decision is dangerous and a threat to American democracy. We need to ask – is it time for Twitter to go?”
Hey stop defaming me!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
In response, Musk tweeted back a brief request to Greenblatt and the ADL: “Hey stop defaming me!” He didn’t bother to respond to the founder and ex-head of the muckraking website “Failed Messiah,” who also attacked him and accused him of lying.
Didn’t you promise the ADL you wouldn’t reinstate people who had been banned for violating Twitter’s terms of service? But then you reinstated Trump. Do you think lying like that is okay?
— Shmarya Rosenberg (@Shmarya) November 20, 2022
Both Rosenberg and Greenblatt were referring to the decision by Musk to reinstate the account of former President Donald Trump after carrying out a 24-hour poll of the platform’s users to “take a vote” on whether to do so. Announcing the 52-48 polling results, Musk announced Sunday that he would, in fact, reinstate Trump’s account – a decision which Greenblatt claimed showed the Twitter CEO was “not remotely serious about safeguarding the platform from hate, harassment and misinformation.”
For @elonmusk to allow Donald Trump back on Twitter, ostensibly after a brief poll, shows he is not remotely serious about safeguarding the platform from hate, harassment and misinformation. https://t.co/Rf0NjAubpI
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) November 20, 2022
In a separate tweet, Greenblatt accused Trump of using Twitter to “foment intolerance, issue threats and incite a violent attack against the US government. Moreover, he has shown no indication that he would do anything different if given the opportunity.”
CBS News went further, explaining Friday in a tweet that it would suspend its activity on Twitter: “In light of the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform.”
The move allegedly came in response to the purge that took place when Musk took control of Twitter on October 27, eliminating the existing senior management team and firing 50 percent of the staff as well. On November 17, hundreds more employees resigned following a memo from Musk setting a deadline to make a commitment to “extremely hardcore” work intensity and hours or leave. Key personnel in the information security department were among those who chose to quit.
Prior to Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the platform, there were about 7,500 employees at Twitter; at present that figure is estimated at less than 2,500, according to Variety.
The boycott by the news outlet didn’t last long, however.
Just 40 hours later, CBS tweeted Sunday morning, “After pausing for much of the weekend to assess the security concerns, CBS News and Stations is resuming its activity on Twitter as we continue to monitor the situation.”