By David Corn June 17, 2023
Elon Musk has 143.7 million followers on Twitter, which he owns, and his tweets, boosted by the site’s algorithm, individually rack up millions—often tens of millions—of impressions. With his amplification of assorted conspiracy theories, his echoing of alt-right talking points, his simplistic attacks on wokeness, and his out-in-the-open stanning for MAGA Republicans, he spreads conservative propaganda a greater distance than Carlson did on Fox.
Musk frequently cloaks his antisemitic rhetoric in the language of conspiracy theories. Whether he’s claiming it is “accurate” that George Soros is a “Lizard God-King of the world” who controls the fate of each business on earth, or linking Soros with the Rothschilds (one of the most overt and well-known antisemitic conspiracy theories in recent history), or engaging in the New World Order conspiracy theory that claims a small elite (Jews) are on the verge of turning the world into a single government, or interacting with those who spread the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, Musk is regularly spreading the kind of coded messaging that leads to the spread of antisemitism.
And Musk is more dangerous than Carlson. Or any other right-wing shouting-head. Yet his mega-wealth and success as a carmaker and rocket builder might distract from the threat he poses. After all, he’s a jet-setting tech celebrity whose excessive tweeting can be dismissed as an eccentricity. But his constant insertion of poison into the national discourse—at super-scale—should not be overlooked. In fact, it now defines Musk. It is a feature, not a bug.