Following Elon Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter to X, the platform’s owner and former CEO is continuing to prop up and engage with far-right accounts, including QAnon conspiracy theorists, bigots, and white nationalists.
Musk has a history of reinstating previously banned accounts of right-wing figures and catering to far-right X users, including engaging with their content on the platform. Musk replacement and current X CEO Linda Yaccarino also has a history of interacting with accounts that spread misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Musk has amplified right-wing accounts, continuously replying to and parroting their attacks on COVID-19 mitigation efforts, anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant rhetoric, and criticism of the Anti-Defamation League.
Since Twitter’s official rebrand to X on July 23, Musk has replied to at least 50 right-wing accounts a total of at least 282 times. Here is a breakdown of select interactions Musk has had with bad actors and right-wing figures:
Musk propped up far-right accounts spreading anti-LGBTQ content
Under Musk and Yaccarino, X has been a cesspool of anti-LGBTQ content — including from the owner himself. Musk has previously liked a handful of anti-trans posts, interacted with anti-LGBTQ bigots, pushed anti-LGBTQ hate on the platform, and stripped the platform of previous rules that protected LGBTQ users.
According to a Media Matters analysis, Musk has bolstered or interacted with right-wing accounts discussing the LGBTQ community or pushing anti-LGBTQ rhetoric at least 16 times since July 23:
- Musk replied with an exclamation point to a post from the anti-LGBTQ hate account Libs of TikTok about nursing students working with transgender youth. Musk has interacted with Libs of TikTok at least 5 times since Twitter’s rebrand.
- Anti-LGBTQ activist Billboard Chris (real name Chris Elston), who has a history of harassing health care providers, attacked the Toronto Star for writing a positive story about a trans child obtaining gender-affirming care, calling it “child abuse.” Musk replied to the post, writing, “Yeah, shame on them.”
- Musk has interacted at least 13 times with Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon since Twitter rebranded as X.s In one thread attacking trans people, Dillon wrote, “‘Marginalized’ is the least applicable word in English for the people who enjoy this level of privilege and protection,” adding, “A trans can slaughter children and get sympathy. Where’s the precedent for this insanity?” Musk responded, “Exactly."
- Collin Rugg, a co-founder of conservative site Trending Politics, applauded rapper Ne-Yo for making inflammatory statements about trans people. Musk responded, “Good for him!”
- Musk has interacted at least 13 times with QAnon supporter Kanekoa The Great. Responding in support to a post attacking gender-affirming care for trans youth, Musk wrote, “This is insane.” (Media Matters previously reported that Musk has boosted the conspiracy theorist’s account at least two dozen times.)
- Musk shared a post from right-wing influencer Greg Price about a proposed California law that “would instruct courts to consider, among many other factors, whether a parent affirms a child’s gender identity when making custody and visitation decisions.” Musk responded, “This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What it would actually mean is that if you disagree with the other parent about sterilizing your child, you lose custody. Utter madness!” (Musk’s interpretation of the proposed law is incorrect — if passed, parents’ acceptance of their child’s gender identity would be only one factor among many others weighed in custody cases.)
- In another post, Price posted a video of California state Rep. Lori Wilson discussing the importance of affirming a child’s gender identity in custody decisions. Musk replied, “This must be stopped. A lot of families and companies will leave the state to avoid risking their children being sterilized by the government.”
- Dillon also commented about the proposed law, writing, “Gender affirmation should be taken into account, but the other way around — parents who affirm a child’s mistaken identity should risk losing custody.” Musk replied, “Yes.”
- Rugg also claimed, “California State Assembly has just passed a bill allowing parents to lose custody of their children if they refuse to accept their child's gender transition. They want your kids.” Musk wrote back, “This is an outrage!”
Musk interacted with far-right accounts spreading anti-immigrant rhetoric
Musk, who legally immigrated to the United States from South Africa, has interacted with right-wing accounts discussing immigration or pushing anti-immigrant rhetoric at least 19 times since Twitter became X.
- Right-wing X user Pelham, who has previously spread misinformation online, shared a post blaming Jewish philanthropist Geroge Soros for immigrants attempting to enter Italy. Pelham wrote, “Soros has put all his money & efforts into targeting Italy with his European Invasion.” Must replied, “The Soros organization appears to want nothing less than the destruction of western civilization.” (Soros has been at the center of antisemitic right-wing conspiracy theories for many years.)
- Musk has interacted with or bolstered the reporting of Fox News correspondent and anti-immigration propagandist Bill Melugin at least 10 times since Twitter rebranded to X. Melugin is ubiquitous for reporting on migrants and pushing far-right talking points, often attacking Democrats in the process.
- While sharing a Fox News clip, Rugg mocked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for attempting to speak over anti-immigrant protesters during a press conference. Musk replied, “AOC will get fired by the voters in her own district if she doesn’t stop with the bs chit-chat and support actual border controls. New York and many other cities are being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of illegal immigrants.”
- Right-wing account End Wokeness posted a video of migrants on an Italian island and wrote, “Western civilization as we know it will be gone within a generation.” Musk wrote back, “Who’s policies are responsible for this?”
Musk interacted with far-right accounts discussing COVID-19
Musk, who gutted X’s moderation policies against coronavirus misinformation on the platform, has interacted with right-wing accounts discussing COVID-19 at least 14 times since Twitter became X.
- Musk has interacted with anti-trans author and right-wing influencer Ashley St. Clair multiple times on the platform, including replying to one of her tweets criticizing masking to protect against COVID-19. St. Clair was previously a Turning Point USA ambassador until the organization cut ties with her in 2019, afterSt. Clair was pictured with multiple white nationalists and antisemites.
- Musk has repeatedly interacted with COVID-related posts from the account of right-wing website The Babylon Bee, which he unilaterally reinstated when he took over the platform.
- In a post criticizing CNN for suggesting that Americans stock up on COVID tests due to a summer surge in infections, right-wing commentator Jordan Peterson wrote, “Never never again You bloody pathetic fear-mongering Pharma-fascist shills.” Musk replied, “Their propaganda grows weaker by the day.”
Musk repeatedly engaged with a far-right campaign attacking the Anti-Defamation League
After Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt spoke with Yaccarino about hate speech, Musk repeatedly boosted posts calling for X to #BantheADL — including from an antisemite he reinstated to the platform. Musk also posted multiple anti-ADL posts, using the Jewish anti-hate speech organization as a scapegoat for losses in the company’s advertisement revenue.
Musk interacted with far-right accounts discussing and attacking the ADL at least 28 times since Twitter became X.
- Musk also interacted with far-right figure Ian Miles Cheong at least 23 times since Twitter became X, including agreeing with Cheong that the ADL “claim to represent the interests of Jewish people but they do not.”
- Musk replied to multiple posts from QAnon adherent Kanekoa that attacked the ADL and Greenblatt.
- Musk repeatedly replied to attacks on the ADL from St. Clair.
- Musk has interacted at least 46 times with right-wing personality ALX (real name Alex Lorusso), including attacking the ADL on X. (Lorusso’s account was among the previously banned right-wing users reinstated by Musk after he took over Twitter.)
Other far-right accounts Musk has interacted with
- Musk replied to a post from far-right X account AF Post, which frequently praises and shares content from white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
- Musk has replied to multiple posts from Pizzagate conspiracy theorist and rape apologist Mike Cernovich.
- Musk interacted with another Pizzagate conspiracy theorist, neo-Nazi collaborator Jack Posobiec, at least twice.
- Musk has also replied to anti-Muslim extremist and white nationalist Laura Loomer.