(NEW YORK) – Elon Musk has threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for defamation, claiming their advocacy calling out antisemitism on his platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), has caused significant financial losses, and entertained the idea of a poll to consider banning the organization from X. PEN America said today Musk is “seeking to silence one of his strongest and most effective critics.”

Kate Ruane, Sy Syms director, U.S. Free Expression Programs at PEN America, said: “Self-appointed ‘free speech-defender’ Elon Musk is seeking to silence one of his strongest and most effective critics because their advocacy was successful. No one owes Musk advertising dollars to support a platform that is increasingly a vehicle for hateful comments. But at a minimum, Musk owes ADL an apology and should be grateful to them for trying to make his platform usable for everyone.”

Last month, Musk filed a lawsuit against an anti-hate group, accusing it of “intentionally and unlawfully” accessing the company’s data and conducting “a scare campaign to drive away advertisers from the X platform.”

The complaint, filed in a California federal court, alleged that research conducted by the advocacy group Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) cost the company “tens of millions of dollars.” The suit alleges that 16 unnamed advertisers either stopped spending on the platform, paused plans to advertise, or decided not to reactivate campaigns following CCDH’s research.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit PEN.org

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057