Elon Musk has now gone from “posting through it” to “irradiated-level incandescent with rage,” apparently, as the Twitter owner and monkey brainchip entrepreneur announced today that he intends to file a “thermonuclear lawsuit” over a recent media report that alleged that his social media network was serving up ads for major companies alongside antisemitic rhetoric. That report, from Media Matters, has presumably been a factor in some of the planet’s biggest brands—including Disney and Apple, long-time Twitter customers—pulling their ads from the platform this week. (Although we might point out that many of these companies also explicitly named some of Musk’s own recent tweets, including one that endorsed a false narrative about Jewish people “pushing…hatred of whites,” as a reason for the ad pulls; it’s not clear yet if you’re allowed to issue a thermonuclear lawsuit to yourself.)
In response to the report, Musk posted his own analysis, which accused Media Matters of deliberately engineering a situation where Twitter was forced to serve up ads near people posting positive comments about Adolf Hitler or the Nazi regime, or engaging in Holocaust denial, by choosing to only follow accounts posting that kind of tripe, and then reloading until ads were placed alongside it. (Which tacitly acknowledges that the platform will do that, if pushed, but that’s apparently neither here nor there.) Musk also, somewhat counter-intuitively, asserted that only one of the posts in question was bad enough to violate Twitter’s terms of service anyway, leaving us to wonder which one it was: The one saying there was “no coherent argument against National Socialism,” or the one quoting Hitler while he’s painted as a quasi-messianic figure, or the one that just straight-up said the Holocaust didn’t happen? Dealer’s choice, perhaps.
Anyway, this is all about free speech, of course, which is why Musk is threatening to sue a media organization (and “Their board, their donors, their network of dark money, all of them”) to smithereens for making the report.