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The Art of Propaganda in the Digital Age

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Since purchasing Twitter or 𝕏 as it is now called, Elon Musk has had a drop in revenue due to a decline in advertising revenue. While many consider Musk to have a platform that supports free speech, others have decried the platform is being used to spew hate speech. One such group is the Anti-Defamation League. Their mission statement reads, "To stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all."

In response to his statement, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt issued the following statement regarding recent developments with X/Twitter:

“It is profoundly disturbing that Elon Musk spent the weekend engaging with a highly toxic, antisemitic campaign on his platform -- a campaign started by an unrepentant bigot that then was heavily promoted by individuals such as white supremacist Nick Fuentes, Christian nationalist Andrew Torba, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and others. Finally, we saw the campaign manifest in the real world when masked men marched in Florida on Saturday brazenly waving flags adorned with swastikas and chanting "Ban the ADL."
But to be clear, the real issue is neither ADL nor the threat of a frivolous lawsuit. This urgent matter is the safety of the Jewish people in the face of increasing, intensifying antisemitism. Musk is engaging with and elevating these antisemites at a time when ADL is tracking a surge of bomb threats and swatting attacks of synagogues and Jewish institutions, dramatic levels of antisemitic propaganda being littered throughout Jewish and non-Jewish residential communities, and extremists marching openly through the streets in Nazi gear. All of this is happening in a context of the highest number of antisemitic incidents that ADL has tracked in more than 40 years -- and just two weeks away from the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

As several followers of 𝕏 have pointed out, ADL has been trying to kill Twitter 𝕏 by using a negative advertising campaign. Similar to how they bullied Facebook to silence opinions they did not share.

Citing an article from 2023, entitled Online Hate and Harassment: The American Experience 2023, ADL specifically blames Musks takeover of Twitter for the surge of anti-semitism.

Elon Musk purchased Twitter and took it private in October 2022, he welcomed back users banned for violating anti-hate policies and dissolved the Trust & Safety Council (of which ADL was a member), a voluntary group of civil society advisors. ADL documented a spike in antisemitism following his takeover in October and has found many of the reinstated accounts spread antisemitism or incite their followers to harassment. Twitter also rolled back rules against anti-transgender hate and, in February, changed its policy of removing violative hateful content to de-amplifying it instead.

The ADL utilized their research as a foundation for applying pressure on advertisers, urging them to either withdraw from Twitter or decrease their marketing spending, with the aim of causing financial strain on the company.

Here is the Truth

Twenty-two days following Twitter's acquisition, Elon Musk made a groundbreaking announcement about Twitter's future, declaring that it would involve the deboosting and demonetization of negative and hateful tweets.

On November 23rd, the team delivered a promising report, stating that hate speech impressions had decreased by a significant one-third from their levels before the spike. By December 2nd, they further noted that the decline in hate speech persisted, even in the face of substantial user growth. This decline was attributed to the influence of Community Notes, a product of the acquisition.

The 𝕏 Safety team remains committed to combating hate speech. In March, they formed a partnership with Sprinklr for an impartial evaluation of hate speech on Twitter. The assessment revealed that over 99% of the content seen by users and advertisers on Twitter was deemed healthy. Additionally, they estimated that social media hate speech impressions were as low as 0.003%, in contrast to Twitter's own estimate of 0.012%.

Don't let the Truth get in the way of a good propaganda campaign

Shortly following; within minutes of Elon's post media pundits were quick to call 𝕏 a racist platform

New York Times Columnist David French

David Corn of Mother Jones

Despite Musk never referencing "Jews" this MSNBC columnist decided to toss her brand of propaganda. Does her profile actually depict her intention?

Even the New York Post had to jump in on the action

Senior Editor for Rolling Stone

The onslaught of adverse media coverage regarding Musk resembled a tidal wave of information, with the majority of it being misleading and entirely untrue. Nonetheless, these outlets continued to promote this narrative as if they were bravely confronting a bully, with minimal resistance or questioning.

We would like to thank soUNTOUCHABLE2 𝕏 friend for helping us gather information in a timely manner and the rest of our team. If you have an opinion comment or a tip please send us a message.

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