Elon Musk's "flaming dumpster" social media network has handed a Holocaust-denying and Hitler-praising account a gold checkmark, which the company supposedly uses to recognize official organizations.
The blatantly antisemitic account, called "Defund Israel Now," has more than 35,000 followers on the platform and is presumably paying X anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for its gold status since late last year.
The account's activity is nothing less than alarming. It posts Hitler speeches, accuses Jewish people of being pedophiles, spreads conspiracy theories, and engages with white nationalists. Unsurprisingly, the account is also highlighting the atrocities happening in Gaza right now as a way to further its fascist agenda.
"Having spent weeks posting deeply antisemitic content on a daily basis on this platform, this gold tick account is now tweeting 'Hitler was right' videos," BBC journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh tweeted.
The fact that the account is not only thriving on X, but also enjoying the same status as the one for Tesla's AI department or SpaceX, is a horrifying omission and failure of content moderation. It highlights how hate speech is not only rampant on Musk's platform, but that the company is actively promoting and profiting from it.
By giving these accounts a platform, the site also risks having other users on the platform mistake it for something authoritative, putting Musk's company at the front and center of even more dissemination of antisemitic hate speech online.
It's unclear if X's existing policies forbid the kind of content the account is posting, and the account is still active at press time.
X's "hateful conduct" policy, which dates back to April 2023, forbids the posting of any "symbols historically associated with hate groups, e.g., the Nazi swastika." It also prohibits content that incites "fear or spreading fearful stereotypes about a protected category."
Given Musk's recent remarks and actions, the news shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The mercurial CEO has actively promoted vicious antisemitic propaganda on the platform himself.
Ever since, advertisers have run for the hills, seemingly inspiring Musk to go on a bizarre apology tour.
First, he flew to Israel to pose with local politicians, a publicity stunt that did little to clear his name. Then, earlier this week, he flew to Poland to visit the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
During an event that took place in the nearby city of Krakow, Musk argued that social media likely would've stopped the Holocaust from happening, a ludicrous assertion that critics have since pointed out is misguided on many levels.
At the event, he claimed that he had never heard about antisemitism "at dinner conversations" and called it "like an absurdity — at least in my friend circles."
"Two-thirds of my friends are Jewish," he told audiences at the event in Krakow, as quoted by the New York Times. "I’m Jewish by association. I’m aspirationally Jewish."
Beyond allowing antisemitic and neo-Nazi content to flourish, X has also verified accounts with the N-word in their handles, as the Daily Dot reported last year. The company has also given a platform to accounts known for posting child sex abuse material.
Of course, Musk's businesses have long stopped responding to virtually all requests for comment, so don't expect X to take action any time soon.
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