Elon Musk’s social media platform X continues to be a cesspool of misinformation and antisemitism as accounts with blue check marks post 9/11 conspiracy theories around the anniversary of the tragedy.
As X CEO Linda Yaccarino posted in remembrance of 9/11, many X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue) subscribers, who have paid for blue check marks under Musk’s overhauled verification process, spread false and harmful information about the attacks. Some used this moment to spread hatred of Jewish people and Israelis, promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories about 9/11 like the debunked “dancing Israelis” story, which alleges that Israel had a hand in orchestrating the attacks.
X has an antisemitism problem as Musk and Yaccarino try to rebrand the platform
- Musk scapegoated the Anti-Defamation League for X’s ongoing business problems after the ADL engaged with Yaccarino to address hate on the platform. Musk boosted a far-right campaign to ban the ADL that has encouraged the proliferation of antisemitism on the site. [Media Matters, 9/1/23, 9/8/23]
- On September 8, Yaccarino wrote that “X opposes antisemitism in all its forms” and “will always work to fight it on our platform,” even as antisemitic conspiracy theories have thrived on the platform. [Twitter/X, 9/8/23; Media Matters, 9/8/23]
- The same day Yaccarino posted in remembrance of 9/11, ads for major brands appeared next to posts espousing antisemitic conspiracy theories about the attacks. [Twitter/X, 9/11/23; Media Matters, 9/11/23]
- After taking over the platform, Musk overhauled Twitter’s verification process, allowing any user to pay, and meet minimal criteria, for a blue check mark. The platform, which later ended legacy verification as well, now prioritizes content from X Premium subscribers in replies. [X/Twitter, accessed 9/11/23; Media Matters 11/10/22, 4/21/23]
X Premium subscribers with blue check marks posted antisemitic 9/11 conspiracy theories
Antisemitic conspiracy theories about 9/11, such as the debunked “dancing Israelis” story, have proliferated for years. X Premium subscribers with blue check marks are the latest to spread these harmful claims, contributing to “Dancing Israelis” being a trending topic on September 11.
- Antisemitic YouTuber Keith Woods, whose X account has a blue check mark, attacked the ADL for debunking the “Dancing Israelis” conspiracy theory. Woods’ account, which was previously banned from the platform, was apparently reinstated under Musk, and the antisemitic YouTuber has been a major driver of the far-right campaign to ban the ADL. [Twitter/X, 9/11/23; Media Matters, 9/1/23]
- X Premium subscriber @Lucas_Gage_ also attacked the ADL and accused Israel of having been “involved” in the attacks on 9/11. He wrote: “Clearly Israel, at a minimum, was involved with the logistics of the attack as handlers of the Saudi hijackers. But it is much worse than that, the more you dig into this. With Israel's history of espionage, treachery, and terrorism against the United States, it is no surprise they were involved in 9/11.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- Another X Premium subscriber wrote, “Do you want to know what’s up with Elon going after the ADL? It has everything to do with the truth about 9/11.” Included in the post is a 9/11 conspiracy theory video from Stop Hate, a right-wing group that has peddled conspiracy theories about January 6. [Twitter/X, 9/10/23]
- Former Republican Senate candidate Lauren Witzke, an X Premium subscriber, wrote: “On 9/11, Israelis were found celebrating and dancing as the Twin Towers were destroyed and thousands of Americans were slaughtered.” She added: “These Israeli’s were arrested, found to be linked to Mossad, and they were quickly deported back to Israel. It was confirmed that they had private knowledge of the terrorist attack, and said that they were there to ‘document it.’” [Twitter/X, 9/10/23]
- X Premium subscriber @average_ape posted a video of a dancing man in a yarmulke and an Israeli flag superimposed in front of the Twin Towers burning. [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- Another X Premium user accused Jews of carrying out the 9/11 attacks in a bizarre post that combined biblical verses and a conspiracy theory video. [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- The account of White Ultra National, which also bears a blue check mark, posted, “Remembering 9/11 Dancing Israelis The AntiWhite Jews control the U.S and they want to destroy it.” The account posted a conspiracy theory video which asserted that the 9/11 attacks were “an inside job” and also posted several antisemitic images. [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
Many users focused on the collapse of World Trade Center building 7, insinuating that its collapse was evidence of a conspiracy
For years, 9/11 conspiracy theorists have baselessly claimed that the collapse of World Trade Center 7 was not attributable to a plane crash. The conspiracy theory is often cited as evidence to baselessly argue that the U.S. government and/or Jewish people orchestrated the attacks. On the morning of September 11, 2023, “Building 7” was trending nationally on X.
- X Premium subscriber and QAnon influencer @KanekoaTheGreat posted an image of the north and south World Trade Center towers with “never forget,” next to building 7 with “forget” over it. Musk has repeatedly boosted posts from the account, which was previously banned but reinstated after Musk acquired the platform. [Twitter/X, 9/10/23]
- Another X Premium subscriber posted, “Let’s not forget Building 7.” The post continued, “Sadly, the terrorists behind 9/11 remain in control of the USA.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- X Premium subscriber Biff Don posted that today marks the “22nd Anniversary of the Free Fall of WTC Building 7 after being hit by nothing.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- X Premium subscriber @17ThankQ: “I believe it was all about WTC 7 and what was in there……. The BBC reported the collapse of WTC 7 approximately 20 minutes before its actual collapse on 9/11.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- X Premium subscriber @Frajer82 posted a video compilation with images of George Bush, Joe Biden, and the 9/11 attacks with the caption, “LOCK THEM ALL UP!!" and phrases including "#911Truth” and “Building 7.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- X Premium subscriber @buperac: “Remember, building 7 could only fall if after the other 2 WTC buildings would fall. The entire thing was pre-planned.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- X Premium subscriber @chrismartenson posted that the “2.25 seconds of free fall with building 7 *completely* ruins the government's 9/11 explanation/hypothesis. This was my red pill.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- Another X Premium subscriber posted a video that asserted building 7 collapsed due to “controlled demolition.” [Twitter/X, 9/10/23]
X Premium subscribers with blue check marks posted other 9/11 conspiracy theories
- X Premium subscriber @TedLogan1010 posted a list of “lessons” from 9/11 that questioned the circumstances of the attack and linked to a misinformation-filled video. The user wrote: “Top 5 Lessons Learned From 9/11 1. Passports are indestructible. 2. Planes are invisible, except on news cameras. 3. Jet fuel is magic wizard piss. 4. Pentagon cameras make planes look like missiles. 5. Freedom fries are just French Fries. (What a rip off) Watch and learn.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- X Premium subscriber @JasonBassler1 referenced several debunked conspiracy theories about 9/11, including the idea that jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. The user wrote: “9/11/01... That magical day when 2 planes took down 3 buildings, when jet fuel melted steel, passports defied physics, $2.3 trillion vanished, a plane in Shanksville disappeared, and every camera at the Pentagon malfunctioned at the same time. 22 years later, still nope…” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- X Premium subscriber @realMBP claimed that “zero planes hit the Twin Towers” and that “explosives were used.” The thread pushed debunked claims that the planes were CGI and the U.S. government was responsible for the attack. [Twitter/X, 9/11/23, 9/11/23]
- X Premium subscriber @FFT1776 tweeted in remembrance of around 3,000 lives that were “lost at the hands of our own Government.” The body of the post also mentioned “building 7.” [Twitter/X, 9/11/23]
- Far-right conspiracy theorist Dom Lucre, who has an account with a blue check mark, posted an image suggesting the attack had been planned beforehand, asking, “Do you believe what we told about 9/11?” In July, Musk reinstated Lucre after he had been banned from the platform after posting an image of child sexual abuse. Since being reinstated, Lucre has received money from the platform’s ad revenue sharing program. [Twitter/X, 9/10/23; Media Matters, 8/8/23]