Elon Musk’s Dangerous Pursuit Must Come to an End


Why Antisemitism Thrives on Social Media Platforms

Antisemitism exploded across social media after Oct. 7. Our feeds flooded with glorified terrorists, global intifada demands, and violent threats targeted at Jewish leaders. Yet online Jewish hate surged to record highs before then, helping fuel similar historic spikes in antisemitic incidents and hate crimes last year, according to the ADL and FBI.

The Influence of Social Media Algorithms

So why do social media platforms seem hardwired for antisemitic hatred? The answer lies in how social media algorithms prioritize content that triggers engagement and views. These algorithms are designed to deliver content most likely to absorb our time and generate a reaction, with controversial posts eliciting frenzied responses. As a result, inflammatory and controversial content, including antisemitic posts, is prioritized, leading to the proliferation of hate speech on social media platforms.

The Case of X (Formerly Known as Twitter)

One platform’s complete abdication of responsibility demonstrates the dramatic impact of leaving these algorithms to their own devices. Twitter, now known as X, was beset by contradictions before Elon Musk purchased the company last year. Musk has systematically degraded or eliminated every policy, practice, and person responsible for governing hateful content. As a result, antisemitism surged by over 900 percent on X, a far greater rate than other mainstream sites and even fringe spaces like 4chan and Gab.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Over the past year, as co-chairs of the Interparliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, we met with social media and technology companies to share concerns about the rapid development of AI and its role in accelerating the spread of hate. If the AI revolution compares to automobiles overtaking horse-drawn wagons, let’s be clear: Artificial intelligence is still in its Model-T era. The responsible development and deployment of AI are crucial in countering hatred online rather than intensifying it.

Elon Musk attends the Viva Technology conference at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre on June 16, 2023 in Paris, France. Musk has recently been accused of allowing pro-Nazi groups to advertize on X—the social network formerly known as Twitter—along with allegedly supporting antisemitic comments.
Chesnot/Getty Images News

The Impact of Elon Musk’s Involvement

Mr. Musk has made it clear that he has no interest in minimizing digital harm. His goal of enhancing Twitter’s profitability has been undercut by his embrace of extremists, leading to a significant impact on the company’s reputation and financial standing. Despite Musk’s apology for amplifying an antisemitic tweet and a much-publicized trip to Israel, his amplification of antisemitic tropes and attacks on Jewish organizations, given his influential position, has significant implications for the spread of hate speech on social media platforms.

The Path Forward

Our Interparliamentary Task Force will continue to convene global lawmakers and digital platforms in search of solutions to mitigate the hazards presented by AI and its algorithms. This dialogue gives us hope that social media and AI leaders can use this remarkable technology to build a better internet. It’s not too late for Mr. Musk or his enablers to acknowledge this failure and deliver reforms to stop antisemitism on X. However, time is running out for meaningful change to occur.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) represents South Florida in Congress and Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather represents a Montreal area district in the Canadian House of Commons. They co-chair the Interparliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, a multi-partisan group of parliamentarians from around the globe.

The views expressed in this article are the writers’ own.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button