Biden joins rival Threads after Musk’s ‘unacceptable’ response to antisemitic conspiracy on X

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US president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris joined Instagram’s Threads after the White House said Elon Musk’s sharing of an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X was “unacceptable”.

Within an hour of joining the rival Meta-owned platform, Mr Biden’s profile garnered over two million followers.

“Folks, it’s President Biden,” the official US president’s account posted on Threads.

“You’re hearing from me today from a new platform, but my message to you hasn’t changed: Right now, we face an inflection point – one of those challenging moments in history where the decisions we make today will determine decades to come,” the president said.

Several accounts on the X rival app responded to the post, calling for a ceasefire amid Israel’s invasion of Gaza, and posting “Free Palestine” along with words of support for Palestinians.

Mr Biden joining Threads ahead of a presidential election could boost the platform’s legitimacy and bring more followers to the app.

The White House’s decision comes as X, formerly Twitter, is embroiled in a controversy over the platform’s owner Mr Musk endorsing a post falsely asserting that Jewish people “have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them”.

The conspiracy theory was among the hateful ideas referenced by the gunman who carried out the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history, killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.

Mr Musk immediately faced backlash for sharing the post at a time when Jewish people were facing an increasing amount of hostility due to the Israel-Hamas conflict which began on 7 October.

“It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the White House, said in a statement.

Watchdog group Media Matters for America said earlier that it found advertisements for companies like IBM, Apple and Oracle were being placed alongside antisemitic content on X.

A number of companies, including Apple, Disney, Discovery, Warner Bros, and Paramount Global have paused their ads on X.

The latest incident marked yet another effect of X failing to moderate harmful content.

It also points to the Biden administration’s efforts to turn to more social media platforms to engage with users ahead of the 2024 presidential elections.

Mr Musk responded on Sunday saying X would be filing a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters “and all those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company.”

Responding to the Tesla Titan’s post, Media Matters president Angelo Carusone called Mr Musk a “bully who threatens meritless lawsuits”.

“Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. If he does sue us, we will win,” Mr Carusone said.

X has not responded to The Independent’s request for comment.

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