Elon Musk ‘may have done more to financially impair’ X than to help it

Outspoken X owner Elon Musk admitted that his social media posts “may have done more to financially impair the company than to help it” in a lawsuit lodged against the billionaire, according to court records.

Musk, who bought the site formerly known as Twitter for $44 billion in 2022, was hit with a defamation lawsuit last year by a 22-year-old Jewish man from California who says he was falsely accused by the mogul of taking part in a neo-Nazi “false flag” demonstration.

During a deposition over Zoom on March 27, Musk said “I do not guide my posts by what is financially beneficial but by what I believe is interesting or important or entertaining to the public,” court documents show.

Elon Musk gave a deposition last month in which he admitted he may have done more financial harm to his company than good. REUTERS

Musk also conceded that “there’s some risk that what I say is incorrect” though one “has to balance that against having a chilling effect on free speech in general, which would undermine the entire foundation of our democracy,” according to court documents, which were first reported by The Huffington Post.

The defamation lawsuit was filed by Ben Brody after X users commented on a brawl in Oregon between the neo-Nazi group Rose City Nationalists and the far-right Proud Boys during a Pride Night event last June 24.

Musk, who has 180 million followers on X, repeated a conspiracy theory that the brawl was a “false flag situation” — a covert action carried out by an organization such as a government or a group to make it appear as though another group is responsible.

He went on to amplify a post which identified Brody as a federal agent pretending to be a neo-Nazi in the “false flag” operation — even though Brody wasn’t in Oregon at the time of the riot.

“Looks like one is a college student (who wants to join the govt) and another is maybe an Antifa member, but nonetheless a probable false flag situation,” Musk wrote on X. The post remains online, but the comment to which Musk was responding to has been removed.

The post by Musk allegedly led some X users to begin inundating Brody with threats.

Brody said that he and his family were forced to flee their home due to Musk’s comment. He is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

Musk said during the deposition that he had a “limited understanding” of the lawsuit that was filed against him.

“I’m guilty of many self-inflicted wounds,” he said.

Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, asked that the transcript of the deposition remain confidential. But his request was denied by a judge.

The Post reached out to X for comment,

The next court hearing is scheduled for April 22.

The social media site has seen an exodus of advertisers over concerns that its free speech mission was allowing rampant hate content to proliferate on the platform since Musk took the reins.

Last fall, the firm handed out stock grants to employees that showed it was worth $19 billion. Fidelity, the financial services giant which helped Musk acquire Twitter and take it private, said X is worth 71% less now than it was when Musk bought it.

Musk acquired X -- formerly known as Twitter -- in late 2022 for $44 billion.
Musk acquired X — formerly known as Twitter — in late 2022 for $44 billion. AFP via Getty Images

Before Musk bought the site, he won a defamation lawsuit in 2019 that was brought against him by a British diver who was labeled by the mogul as a “pedo guy.”

The two men clashed over Musk’s offer to build a submersible vehicle that would help extricate a group of trapped Thai schoolboys in a cave that was inundated with floodwater.

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