By Sheila Dang and Ari Rabinovitch
(Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Elon Musk to strike a balance between protecting free expression and fighting hate speech at a meeting on Monday after weeks of controversy over antisemitic content on Musk's social media platform X.
Earlier this month, Musk attacked the Anti-Defamation League, accusing the nonprofit that works to fight antisemitism of primarily causing a 60% decrease in U.S. ad revenue at X, without providing evidence.
Musk bought the platform, then known as Twitter, in October.
Musk previously joined a conversation on X with the hashtag #BantheADL, engaging with users who expressed white supremacist views, and asked followers whether he should poll the platform about banning the ADL.
«I hope you find within the confines of the First Amendment, the ability to not only stop antisemitism… but any collective hatred of a people,» Netanyahu said during the meeting that was broadcast live on X from Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s factory in Fremont, California.
«I know you're committed to that… but I encourage and urge you to find a balance,» Netanyahu said.
Musk responded by saying he was against antisemitism and against anything that «promotes hate and conflict,» repeating his previous statements that X would not promote hate speech.
Musk has said X should be a platform for people to post diverse viewpoints, but the company will limit the distribution of certain posts that may violate its policies, calling the approach «freedom of speech, not reach.»
The billionaire, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX, noted that he received more pushback from Tesla employees about the meeting with Netanyahu than «anything else I've ever done.»
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