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Musk vs. Soros and Bellingcat

18.05.2023
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https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-65628229

Elon Musk, the owner of the social network Twitter, space company SpaceX and automaker Tesla, was accused of anti-Semitism because of tweets about businessman and philanthropist George Soros. But the entrepreneur said that this does not bother him, and he will continue to write high-profile posts on his social network, even if this will bring losses to his company.

On Tuesday, the owner of Twitter posted a tweet saying that Soros, the billionaire financier who has donated tens of billions of dollars to charity, reminds him of Magneto, the Jewish-born villain from the X-Men sci-fi films. Soros was born to a Jewish family in Hungary in the 1930s and survived the Nazi occupation of his country. Magneto from X-Men, according to the authors of these films, comes from a German Jewish family and survived the concentration camp in Auschwitz as a child.

Musk did not explain why Soros evokes such associations in him. But given that far-right conspiracy theorists often portray Soros as a villain and a key figure in some worldwide Jewish conspiracy, commentators have accused Musk of anti-Semitism and aiding conspiracy theorists.

One of the users who reacted to Musk's post was American journalist Brian Krassenstein. He wrote that Soros is "relentlessly attacked for his good intentions," to which Musk replied, "You're assuming these are good intentions. They aren't. He wants to destroy the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity."

Given that Musk has almost 140 million followers on Twitter, many are worried about such statements by the businessman and the consequences that they can lead to. The far right, in keeping with anti-Semitic clichés, often cite Soros as the source of the world's problems. And the fact that Elon Musk, intentionally or not, echoes these ideas - comparing him to a Jewish supervillain, claiming that Soros "hates humanity" - is not just distressingly, it's dangerous: it inspires extremists who concoct anti-Jewish plots and try to attack Soros and Jewish communities," wrote Jonathan Greenblatt, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish rights organization.

Commenting on this reaction, Musk, in an interview with the American television company CNBC, said that he did not intend to restrain his freedom of expression and was not afraid of losing advertising revenue for Twitter, which brings the company the bulk of its income. "I will say whatever I think is necessary, and if the consequence of this is the loss of money, so be it," said the billionaire. He added that he is not an anti-Semite at all, calling himself, on the contrary, a "pro-Semite".

Musk's words carry a lot of weight. He is one of the richest and most powerful people in the world and owns one of the largest social networks. But in recent months, Musk has increasingly been posting controversial statements on his Twitter.

A few hours after the post about Soros, Elon Musk posted another comment on Twitter, which can be regarded as support for right-wing conspiracy theories. He responded "yes" to a post claiming that investigative media outlet Bellingcat is a "NATO propaganda project". "A leaked report to the UK government says: 'Bellingcat has been somewhat discredited both for spreading disinformation itself and for being willing to provide reports to anyone who is willing to pay,'" Canadian writer Aaron Mate wrote in a post. .

Commenting on it, Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins responded: "When this first became public, I was naturally shocked as it incorrectly describes Bellingcat. Bellingcat is known for its investigations into the interference of the Kremlin and intelligence agencies in the political processes of other countries, about Russian PMCs " Wagner", as well as the poisonings of Navalny and the Skripals. In 2020, Bellingcat, Der Spiegel and CNN conducted a joint investigation and learned the names of three FSB officers who followed politician Alexei Navalny to Tomsk, where he was allegedly poisoned "Novichok" Bellingcat was also investigating who shot down the MH-17 aircraft over the Donbass.

 

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