Less than one month after CEO Jonathan Greenblatt lauded Tesla CEO Elon Musk as "an amazing entrepreneur and an extraordinary innovator" and heralded the tech billionaire's then-pending purchase of Twitter, the Anti-Defamation League on Friday launched a widespread effort to convince advertisers to "pause" their spending on the site, following a surge in racism and harassment on the site since Musk's takeover.
In a statement shared on the "Stop Hate for Profit" website, boycott organizers say they met with Musk earlier in the week to express their concerns over the proliferation of hate speech on the site. A disclaimer on the site lists Stop Hate For Profit as "a trademark of the Anti-Defamation League." Greenblatt on Thursday told CNBC's Squawk Box that he'd been "encouraged" by what he'd heard from Musk during those meetings.
However, in the group's statement Friday, organizers write that "at this point in time, we are calling on advertisers to pause their spend globally until it becomes clear whether Twitter remains committed to being a safe place for advertisers as well as society overall."
Greenblatt courted controversy in early October when he praised Musk's plans to buy the social media behemoth, calling him an "amazing entrepreneur and an extraordinary innovator. He's the Henry Ford of our time," in an interview with Squawk Box. That comparison of Musk to Ford, a noted antisemite, drew intense criticism, prompting Greenblatt to backtrack, calling the Henry Ford analogy "wrong."