Elon Musk, owner of the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), defended his amplification of antisemitic posts and expressed disdain for advertisers leaving the platform. Speaking at the 2023 DealBook Summit, Musk dismissed attempts to use advertising as leverage, telling potential blackmailers to “go f— yourself.” He specifically mentioned Disney CEO Bob Iger in the audience, implying that advertisers abandoning the platform would face backlash from Musk’s fans, and their role in the downfall of the platform would be documented.
In recent weeks, Musk faced criticism for promoting antisemitic and racist content on X, leading to several advertisers, including Disney and Apple, suspending campaigns. Musk acknowledged his mistake, describing it as “one of the most foolish” things he had done on the platform and apologized for the post. Despite the backlash and some high-profile users leaving the platform, Musk emphasized his willingness to be disliked.
Regarding the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and antitrust issues, Musk stated that he had no problem being hated and reiterated the importance of identity verification on the platform. He further discussed his visit to Israel, where he met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered assistance in deradicalizing and rebuilding Gaza.
Earlier in the day, Musk shared his negative views on unions, stating that they create a divisive atmosphere in companies. He expressed that if Tesla were to be unionized, it would be because the company failed in some way. Musk also discussed regulations and compliance, stating that he generally follows regulations but may occasionally object to a regulation and disobey.
On the topic of China and Tesla’s factory there, Musk emphasized the importance of adhering to the laws of each country and denied any hypocrisy in doing business in countries with different speech laws. He also briefly touched on OpenAI’s recent boardroom struggles, expressing mixed feelings about CEO Sam Altman and expressing concern about the potential dangers of AI harming humanity, causing him trouble sleeping at night.