Musk Accuses Media of Bias for Dropping ‘Dilbert’ Over Creator’s Racist Rant

Elon Musk, the billionaire chief of Tesla and Twitter, called the media racist against white and Asian people in a tweet about the controversy over “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, who said on a YouTube livestream last week that Black people were “a hate group” and white people should “just get the hell away” from them.

Hundreds of newspapers, including USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and The New York Times international print edition, stopped running the syndicated comic strip in response to Mr. Adams’s rant.

Responding in a Twitter thread about Mr. Adams’s comments, Mr. Musk tweeted on Sunday that “the media is racist.” He added, “For a *very* long time, US media was racist against nonwhite people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians.”

Mr. Musk and Mr. Adams did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Within months of his takeover of Twitter, slurs against Black Americans and other minority groups surged on the platform, researchers found. Mr. Musk has denied claims that hate speech on Twitter has increased under his ownership.

Twitter faced an exodus of advertisers after Mr. Musk signaled that he would loosen Twitter’s content moderation rules. Mr. Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist” and offered “amnesty” to thousands of suspended users last year.

In early November, shortly after Mr. Musk closed his $44 billion buyout of Twitter, more than 40 civil rights groups published an open letter urging 20 of Twitter’s top advertisers to stop spending on the site if Mr. Musk threw out the platform’s content moderation safeguards.

Around that time, Mr. Musk met with several civil rights groups, including the N.A.A.C.P. and the Anti-Defamation League. At the meeting, in addition to assuring the leaders of these groups that he would not make changes to Twitter’s policies or reinstate banned accounts before the results of the midterm elections were certified, he discussed his approach to content moderation. At the time, some of the leaders present described Mr. Musk as receptive to their feedback.

Days after the meeting, as Mr. Musk began laying off thousands of employees, civil rights groups including GLAAD and the A.D.L. held a conference call urging companies to abandon Twitter, saying that the layoffs were gutting an already thin content moderation department.

Mr. Musk has laid off many more workers at Twitter since then, including another 200 on Saturday night.

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