Walt Mossberg, the veteran tech reporter and columnist, quit Elon Musk’s social media site over the mogul’s threat to sue the Anti-Defamation League — calling X a “cesspool” in a damning post on rival platform Threads.
Mossberg — who covered technology for more than two decades at The Wall Street Journal before partnering with fellow journalist Kara Swisher on tech-centric ventures AllThingsD and Recode — blamed Musk for turning the rebranded Twitter site into a “cesspool” of “bigots and liars and pro-insurrectionists.”
“I have deactivated my account on Twitter (X), which began in 2007,” Mossberg wrote on Threads, the “Twitter Killer” app recently launched by Mark Zuckerberg-owned Meta.
Mossberg took issue with Musk’s free-wheeling approach to content moderation, which included restoring the accounts of controversial figures who had been banished from the site by the company’s previous management.
“Under Elon Musk, Twitter has not only decided to stop blocking bigots and liars and pro-insurrectionists, it has actively welcomed them, with apparent support from Mr. Musk,” Mossberg wrote.
“I had already cut my participation there by 90%,” Mossberg continued.
“But Musk’s latest move, to threaten to ban and sue the ADL — to the delight of antisemites and other haters — is the last straw for me,” he wrote.
Mossberg acknowledged that rival platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram “have their own drawbacks.”
“But none comes close to the cesspool of Twitter under Musk, which, IMO (in my opinion), is steadily approaching the level of Truth Social,” Mossberg wrote.
The Post has sought comment from X.
Musk this week threatened to sue the ADL for “roughly $22 billion.” The mogul blamed the civil rights group for chasing away advertisers from doing business with X.
As of Wednesday, there has been no suit filed against the civil rights group.
“It is profoundly disturbing that Elon Musk spent the weekend engaging with a highly toxic, anti-Semitic campaign on his platform,” ADL CEO Johnathan Greenblatt said.
“But to be clear, the real issue is neither ADL nor the threat of a frivolous lawsuit. This urgent matter is the safety of the Jewish people in the face of increasing, intensifying antisemitism,”
Musk sparked outrage over the weekend by elevating the hashtag #BantheADL after it was circulated by several far-right and nationalist X account holders by tweeting: “Perhaps we should have a poll on this?”
He followed with a tweetstorm on Monday night in which he claimed the ADL was trying to shut down the site formerly known as Twitter by “falsely accusing it and me of being antisemitic.”
“To clear our platform’s name on the matter of anti-Semitism, it looks like we have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League … oh the irony!” he said.
Musk, who bought the site for $44 billion last October, blamed a 60% drop in advertising sales on the group.
“Based on what we’ve heard from advertisers, ADL seems to be responsible for most of our revenue loss,” Musk wrote.
The group, which touts on its website that it works “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people,” has slammed Musk for not cracking down on hate speech since taking over the site.
Earlier this year, Musk compared liberal financier George Soros to X-Men supervillain Magneto after the Hungarian-born billionaire sold off Tesla stock.
Musk, who is CEO of Tesla, accused Soros of being a person who “hates humanity.”
The ADL criticized Musk’s comments about Soros, calling his words “dangerous.”
Additional Reporting by Shannon Thaler