Elon Musk to meet Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu in Silicon Valley

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to meet X owner Elon Musk on Monday in Silicon Valley, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

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X, formerly known as Twitter, has seen a dramatic increase in hate speech since Musk bought the site last year and loosened safeguards around content moderation. Last week, Musk said that US ad revenue had declined by 60 percent.

The meeting is the latest step in a campaign by Musk’s Jewish friends and allies to stave off the mounting criticism surrounding the increase in antisemitic speech on X, the report said, citing five people familiar with the situation.

Musk didn’t immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Civil rights groups, including the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), have issued findings that the volume of hate speech on X has grown dramatically under the stewardship of Musk, who is also the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla.

In December, the ADL noted both an increase in antisemitic content on the platform and a decrease in the moderation of antisemitic posts since Musk took over. The Center for Countering Digital Hate said the daily use of a racial slur against Black people under Musk was triple the 2022 average and slurs against gay men and trans persons were up 58 percent and 62 percent, respectively.

Without providing evidence, Musk has blamed critics for the slump in ad revenue, pointing the finger specifically at pressure from the ADL.

Earlier this month, Musk joined a conversation on X with a hashtag #BantheADL, embraced by white nationalists and antisemites, and asked followers whether he should poll the platform about it. He engaged in exchanges with users who expressed antisemitic viewpoints during the discussion.

X’s new content moderation policy has made it challenging to convince brands that the social media platform was safe for ads, the company’s former head of brand safety and ad quality AJ Brown told Reuters in an interview earlier this month.

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