Edited by: Fern Sidman
Twitter owner Elon Musk engaged in small talk with disgraced rapper Kanye West and took some time to excoriate the Anti-Defamation League this weekend for expressing their concern that free speech would lead to former President Trump saying things they find dangerous. As Musk told his public he would, should he gain access to the social media platform, he has opened it to all voices, irrespective of their views and presentations.
Currently, Kanye West has had his Twitter account unsuspended, former President Donald Trump has gained access to his voided account as well as such personalities as Jordan Peterson and the Babylon Bee.
West, the rapper and designer who also goes by Ye, had been banned from Twitter last month for threatening Jews; he returned to the platform Nov. 4 and was swiftly banned again after he launched a new round of anti-Jewish invective, as was reported by the JTA.
“Testing Testing Seeing if my Twitter is unblocked,” West tweeted midday Sunday. Several hours later, Musk appeared to be welcoming West, punning on West’s more recent name in a response to his question: “Don’t kill what ye hate Save what ye love,” Musk tweeted.
The JTA reported that West’s next tweet was simply “Shalom” followed by a smile emoji, a message that appeared to wink at his ongoing anti-Semitism controversy.
Musk took a poll to gauge viewers perspectives on whether the nation’s 45th president should be granted the right to broadcast his thoughts and opinions on the social media platform and JTA reported that in a narrow vote, the slim majority of users concluded that Trump should be allowed to return after being suspended because his incendiary tweets helped spur the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the United States Capitol.
Other than with Trump, it was not clear what process Musk followed, if any, to guide his decision making — a dynamic that is at odds with what the Anti-Defamation League’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said he had been promised when he and others met with Musk on November 1 to urge him to combat hate on the platform, the JTA reported
“He committed not to replatform anyone, regardless of stature, until he installed a transparent, clear process that took into consideration the views of civil society,” Greenblatt said in a statement Sunday night. He called the poll that preceded Trump’s reinstatement “dangerous” and said, “It forces us to wonder whether he is serious about safeguarding the platform from hate, harassment and disinformation.”
The statement was an extended version of comments that Greenblatt had tweeted on Saturday night — and elicited a flip public response from Musk as a result, the JTA reported.
After the Zoom meeting that Musk had with Greenblatt and other representatives of organizations who wish to diminish the dissemination of hatred on social media, Musk expressed a commitment to combating hate and incitement on Twitter, according to a report on the Jewish Insider web site.
“What I heard was very encouraging, and I’m cautiously optimistic,” Greenblatt said at the time. The Jewish Insider reported that Greenblatt is a vocal critic of social media’s handling of hate speech and misinformation. Greenblatt added: “actions speak louder than words.”
Musk told Greenblatt on Monday in a social media post: “Hey stop defaming me!” The JTA reported that the message promulgated by Musk was widely interpreted as mocking the civil rights organization that has sought to play a leading role in pressing for a hate-free Twitter.