Elon Musk, owner of Tesla, Neuralink, SpaceX and the ‘X’ social media platform (formerly Twitter), met Thursday evening for a two-hour discussion with conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro and his co-host, Ari Lamm, along with prominent Jewish leaders to discuss “X, antisemitism and what it all means for free speech.”
I’ll be talking with @elonmusk, along with my co-host @arilamm and a panel of esteemed leaders in the Jewish community, where we’ll talk about X, anti-Semitism, and what it all means for free speech. Tune in tomorrow, Thursday 9/28 at 12pm ET! https://t.co/AspCHC1BIt
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 27, 2023
Joining Musk and Shapiro were Natan Sharansky, Prof. Alan Dershowitz, Rabbi Menachem Margolin (chair of the European Jewish Association), Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Rabbi Manis Friedman, former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, and Jewish public relations executive Asher Gold and others.
There have been multiple claims in recent months, including from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), that antisemitism on X has increased since Musk took over the company. Musk has said the ADL has unfairly accused him of antisemitism, and has threatened to sue the organization, saying X has lost advertisers due to pressure from ADL.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the issue with Musk in their meeting on artificial intelligence during the prime minister’s visit to San Francisco, broadcast live on X on September 18. During their discussion, Netanyahu said he hopes Musk finds a way to roll back antisemitism on the site.
“All I can say is I hope you find within the confines of the first amendment, the ability to stop not only antisemitism or roll it back as best you can, but any collective hatred of a people that you know that antisemitism represents, and I know you’re committed to that. I hope you succeed in it. It’s not an easy task…” he said.
“I know you’re an advocate of free speech, and I am as well. It’s a foundation of democracy. Still, I hope you can find a way to curtail antisemitism and hate speech online, as you’ve condemned it in every possible way,” Netanyahu added.
“Condemn it, yes, but to actually remove it from the platform is harder,” Musk explained. “Controversy is what keeps the X platform alive and vibrant, and ultimately is what drives civilization. What I can say is that we are trying to remove millions of bot accounts, so it will no longer be the one who pays the most who gets heard.
“Free speech does mean that at times, someone you don’t like is saying something you don’t like. Otherwise, it’s not free speech … Our overall goal for X platform is to maximize unregretted user time,” he added.