U.S. President Joe Biden joined Threads late Monday, days after the White House criticized X’s owner Elon Musk for “antisemitic rhetoric.”
Last week, Musk appeared to express support for a post on X, formerly Twitter, claiming that Jewish communities back “dialectical hatred against whites.” The user of the post — which appears to promote an antisemitic conspiracy theory — also alluded to the statement, “Hitler was right.” In response, Musk wrote, “You have said the actual truth,” sparking backlash from users and advertisers.
The White House on Friday criticized Musk for his remarks, calling them “an abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate.” Musk later defended himself against claims that he is antisemitic, saying that “nothing could be further from the truth.”
In a statement, the Biden administration said that the new account on Threads did not preclude the president’s participation on X. The White House also didn’t specify the reasons behind the account’s creation.
Following last week’s controversy, Musk sued the nonprofit Media Matters for America for defamation — claiming that a recent Media Matters report showing ads running next to pro-Nazi content on X drove advertisers to leave the platform. Companies have been concerned over brand safety since the tech mogul took over the social media platform last year. Axios reported that X has been losing advertisers month over month, with the steepest drop occurring after former NBCU executive Linda Yaccarino was named the platform’s CEO. Major companies like Apple, Disney, and Sony also paused their spending on X after Musk’s remarks last week.
Biden has drawn in more than 2 million followers to his Threads account and has also already been bombarded with pro-Palestinian responses to his first post. The president joining Threads comes at an interesting time, with increasing numbers of influential people giving the Meta-owned platform greater potential as a news source, whether it wants to be a major disseminator of news or not, The Verge reported.