November 28, 2023

Elon Musk amplifies Pizzagate conspiracy theory

Elon Musk has now amplified the extensively debunked “Pizzagateconspiracy theory on X, simply days after he sparked outrage for pushing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

On Monday, an X person tried to hyperlink the founding father of Media Matters – the left-leaning non-profit group that final week accused X of selling adverts from world corporations alongside pro-Hitler content material – to the proprietor of the so-called “Pizzagate restaurant”.

Mr Musk then boosted the put up by replying to it, with the one-word phrase: “Weird.”

Now, the three-year-old conspiracy theory and baseless claims of its ties to Media Matters have been promoted to the tech mogul’s 160 million followers.

Pizzagate is an anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory promoted on 4chan, Reddit, Twitter and different platforms within the last days earlier than the 2016 US presidential election.

Believers accused then presidential hopeful Ms Clinton and different senior Democrats of operating a toddler intercourse trafficking ring out of a Washington DC pizza joint. The conspiracy theory led to a shooting at the restaurant.

The amplification of the theory by the tech billionaire comes amid a rising row between Mr Musk and Media Matters after the organisation printed a report revealing that adverts from large manufacturers together with IBM, Apple, Oracle and Bravo had been operating subsequent to pro-Hitler and antisemitic content material on Mr Musk’s social media platform.

The revelation prompted a sequence of main corporations – together with Disney, Apple and IBM – to drag promoting from X.

On Monday, Mr Musk responded by submitting a “thermonuclear lawsuit” in opposition to Media Matters. Mr Musk has additionally branded the organisation “evil” in a put up on X.

Mr Musk and different X executives have denied the accusations within the Media Matters report, saying that the analysis technique utilized by the non-profit to uncover the content material positioned subsequent to firm adverts was not consultant of how common individuals use its platform.

Elon Musk has been accused of amplifying the ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theory


The organisation had adopted accounts that posted the content material, then refreshed the X timeline till adverts appeared, X government Joe Benarroch stated.

Meanwhile, an X spokesperson advised The Independent the corporate didn’t deliberately place the adverts subsequent to the posts from the antisemitic accounts, which have now been demonetised, which means promoting can not run on their profiles. However, the accounts haven’t been eliminated.

Media Matters president Angelo Carusone issued a press release on Monday addressing Mr Musk’s marketing campaign in opposition to the organisation, calling the lawsuit “meritless” and “an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate”.

“Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. If he does sue us, we will win,” the non-profit stated.

After Mr Musk’s $44bn acquisition of X closed final 12 months, he relaxed moderation insurance policies on X and minimize many workers concerned with security on the platform.

Since then, Mr Musk has come beneath hearth on a number of events over content material selling antisemitism on the positioning.

Mr Musk has additionally sparked outrage over his personal posts and feedback which have promoted antisemitic content material.

On Wednesday, the self-described “free-speech absolutist” stated a put up which promoted an antisemitic theory was “the actual truth”.

The Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant that was on the heart of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory


A social media person had appeared to push the “great replacement” conspiracy theory on X, claiming that Jewish communities “have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them”.

“I’m deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest s*** now about Western Jewish populations coming to the disturbing realisation that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much. You want truth said to your face, there it is,” the put up added.

Mr Musk’s responded by writing: “You have said the actual truth.”

His response obtained reward from white nationalist Nick Fuentes – whereas prompting widespread backlash from dozens extra, together with the White House, with many accusing him of antisemitism.

He later responded to the accusations of antisemitism, insisting “nothing could be further from the truth”.

“This past week, there were hundreds of bogus media stories claiming that I am antisemitic. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he wrote.

“I wish only the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all.”

This got here after an earlier scandal within the days after the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel, the place Mr Musk was compelled to delete a put up during which he amplified an account extensively accused of antisemitism and promoted debunked movies as dependable sources of details about the assault.

Last 12 months, advocacy organisation the American Jewish Committee referred to as on Mr Musk to apologise over a controversial put up that made a satirical comparability between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Adolf Hitler.

Mr Musk has beforehand insisted that he’s “pro free speech” however in opposition to antisemitism “of any kind”.