Israel’s Netanyahu urges Musk to balance free speech, fighting hate on X

File picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

File image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
| Picture Credit score: REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Elon Musk to strike a steadiness between defending free expression and preventing hate speech at a gathering on Monday after weeks of controversy over antisemitic content material on Mr. Musk’s social media platform X.

Earlier this month, Mr. Musk attacked the Anti-Defamation League, accusing the nonprofit that works to battle antisemitism of primarily inflicting a 60% lower in U.S. advert income at X, with out offering proof.

Mr. Musk purchased the platform, then often called Twitter, in October.

Mr. Musk beforehand joined a dialog on X with the hashtag #BantheADL, partaking with customers who expressed white supremacist views, and requested followers whether or not he ought to ballot the platform about banning the ADL.

“I hope you discover throughout the confines of the First Modification, the power to not solely cease antisemitism… however any collective hatred of a folks,” Mr. Netanyahu mentioned through the assembly that was broadcast reside on X from Tesla’s manufacturing facility in Fremont, California.

“I do know you are dedicated to that… however I encourage and urge you to discover a steadiness,” Mr. Netanyahu mentioned.

Mr. Musk responded by saying he was in opposition to antisemitism and in opposition to something that “promotes hate and battle,” repeating his earlier statements that X wouldn’t promote hate speech.

Mr. Musk has mentioned X must be a platform for folks to submit various viewpoints, however the firm will restrict the distribution of sure posts which will violate its insurance policies, calling the strategy “freedom of speech, not attain.”

The billionaire, who additionally runs Tesla and SpaceX, famous that he obtained extra pushback from Tesla workers concerning the assembly with Mr. Netanyahu than “anything I’ve ever performed.”

Mr. Netanyahu and his nationalist-religious coalition are attempting to restrict a few of the Israeli Supreme Courtroom’s powers, arguing it’s mandatory to forestall political overreach by unelected judges.

Opponents say the adjustments might encourage corruption and abuses of energy by eradicating efficient oversight, and the difficulty has break up Israeli society and raised considerations over Israel’s democratic well being.

About 200 folks protesting the judicial overhaul gathered outdoors Tesla’s California manufacturing facility, the place the occasion was held.

Mr. Musk and Mr. Netanyahu additionally mentioned the best way to harness the advantages of the fast development of synthetic intelligence, whereas limiting the dangers to society, a priority Mr. Musk and others within the tech business have raised in latest months.

“We stand right now at a juncture for all humanity, the place we have now to decide on between a blessing and a curse,” Mr. Netanyahu mentioned, including that AI might advance drugs however result in dangers like disrupting democracy.

Israel is taken into account a world-leader in AI, because of burgeoning computing and robotics industries that draw on expertise developed within the technologically superior conscript army.

International funding in Israeli tech startups has plunged within the final yr, partly as a result of a world slowdown and exacerbated by investor fears that the push to trim the Supreme Courtroom’s powers would take away a key verify and steadiness.

With international flows down sharply, the shekel has weakened by greater than 8% versus the greenback this yr.

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