FILE PHOTO: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pauses during a conversation with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, Britain, Thursday November 2, 2023. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
Elon Musk reinforced the dangerous, years-old “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory on Monday in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, just days after coming under heavy criticism and facing an exodus of advertisers following his endorsement of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
In a post Monday, an X user attempted to link the founder of Media Matters – the progressive media watchdog that last week identified ads for major brands running alongside pro-Nazi content on X – with the owner of the “Pizzagate restaurant”. Musk replied: “Weird.” By responding, Musk caught the attention of his more than 160 million followers on X.
Pizzagate is an anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory that emerged on 4chan, Reddit, Twitter and other platforms in the final days before the 2016 US presidential election. Believers imagined a pedophilia ring would be run from a Washington, DC pizzeria, involving Clinton and other Democrats.
These wildly false claims were behind self-proclaimed “investigator” Edgar Maddison Welch’s decision in December of that year to fire an assault rifle inside the restaurant. (No one was hurt, and Welch later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.)
This is just the latest conspiracy theory that Musk has drawn attention to over the use of X. Musk last week endorsed an anti-Semitic post on his social media platform Jews push “hatred against whites”. Last year, Musk also gave credence to a fringe conspiracy theory about the violent attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, by posting a link to an article filled with baseless claims on Paul Pelosi.
Last week, Musk faced backlash from the White House and others for engaging in an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
“It is unacceptable to repeat at any time the hideous lie behind the deadliest act of anti-Semitism in American history, let alone a month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates in a statement. CNN.
05:18 – Source: CNN
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On Friday, at least half a dozen major advertisers, including media giants Disney, Paramount and NBCUniversal, suspended spending on X. IBM also suspended advertising on the platform after the Media Matters report showed that its advertising appeared alongside pro-Nazi content.
Musk rejected the idea that he was anti-Semitic. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said in a message Sunday. Musk’s company also claimed that the Media Matters report was misleading and that it had taken steps to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination on the platform. X sued Media Matters on Monday, accusing it of misrepresenting the likelihood of ads appearing alongside extremist content on X.
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