Elon Musk’s Twitter Hit With Holocaust Denial Hate Speech Lawsuit in Germany
Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is being sued in Germany for hate speech after he allegedly tweeted an anti-Semitic remark.
The lawsuit, filed by the Berlin-based Jewish group “Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland”, accuses Musk of violating German law by tweeting “Wenn die Juden nicht willen Deutsch zu lernen, werden sie nicht in der Lage sein, unser Land voranzubringen” (“If the Jews don’t want to learn German, they will not be able to advance our country”).
This is not the first time that Musk has been accused of anti-Semitism. In 2018, he drew criticism for calling a British diver who helped rescue a trapped Thai soccer team “pedo guy”.
The lawsuit against Musk was filed on Monday in the district court of Berlin. It alleges that the billionaire’s tweet violates German hate speech laws, which prohibit the dissemination of anti-Semitic and other discriminatory content.
The lawsuit is seeking an injunction against Musk, which would ban him from repeating the offending tweet or from making any similar statements in the future. It is also seeking damages, although the amount has not been specified.
Musk has not yet responded publicly to the lawsuit. However, he has previously defended his use of social media, saying that he is “just expressing my opinion”.
The case against Musk is likely to take months or even years to resolve. If he is found guilty, he could be fined or even imprisoned. However, it is also possible that the lawsuit will be dismissed or that Musk will reach an out-of-court settlement with the plaintiffs.
Elon Musk’s Twitter hit with holocaust denial hate speech lawsuit in Germany
Social media giant sued for not removing ‘defamatory and insulting’ tweets
Twitter is being sued in Germany for not removing “defamatory and insulting” tweets by Elon Musk.
The lawsuit, filed by Berlin-based non-profit organisation Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, names both Twitter and Musk as defendants.
It alleges that the social media giant did not do enough to stop the Tesla boss from posting “holocaust denial, anti-Semitic and racist” tweets.
The lawsuit specifically references two tweets Musk posted in October 2018, in which he accused Jewish banking giant Goldman Sachs of “running a scam”.
He also tweeted that year that “money is just pieces of paper that do bad things to people”, a remark the lawsuit says was aimed at Jews.
The lawsuit alleges that these tweets violated German laws prohibiting hate speech and calls on Twitter to remove them and pay damages.
“Twitter is refusing to comply with German law by leaving up blatantly anti-Semitic hatred by one of the world’s most prominent people,” said Rebecca Mir, a spokesperson for the group.
“This lawsuit is about sending a strong signal that platforms like Twitter cannot be misused to spread racist hatred with impunity.”
Twitter declined to comment on the lawsuit when contacted by CNN Business.
Musk has been a vocal critic of Twitter in the past and has even threatened to delete his account on multiple occasions.
He has also caused controversy with his comments about Jews. In a 2018 interview with Freeman’s magazine, Musk said that “if you are interested in believing in God, then were you also interested in believing in Satan?”
“I’m not religious, so I don’t really have an opinion, but I think people should be extra careful about extrapolating too much from religious texts,” he said.
“The lessons to take from religions are principally moral, but they shouldn’t be taken as literally true, in the same way as, you know, it probably wasn’t actually a donkey that talked to Balaam.”