Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at a conference organized by the European Jewish Association, in Poland, January 22, 2024.
New York CNN  — 

Elon Musk — who was widely criticized for an antisemitic post on his social media site, X, two months ago — said following a visit to Auschwitz Monday that X has less antisemitic content than other social media platforms. But Musk conceded that he wasn’t aware until recently that antisemitism was a pervasive problem in the United States.

Musk made the comments during an interview at a conference hosted by the European Jewish Association near the site of the Auschwitz in Poland. It comes after Musk faced a firestorm of backlash over antisemitic content on X, including a post with an antisemitic conspiracy theory that Musk himself amplified (and later apologized for in the wake of condemnation.)

“It’s never going to be zero if you’ve got 600 million people on the platform, expecting it to be zero is pretty unlikely,” Musk said of antisemitism on X. He added that X has “the least amount of antisemitism” compared to other major platforms, although he cited no evidence for that claim beyond referencing “outside audits that we’ve had done.”

Musk in November agreed with a post on X that claimed that Jewish communities push “hatred against Whites,” calling it the “actual truth.” The antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews want to bring undocumented minority populations into Western countries to reduce White majorities in those nations has been espoused by online hate groups. Musk’s post led to a rebuke from the White House and a major exodus of advertisers.

Musk later apologized for the post, but told advertisers who halted their spending on X over concerns about antisemitic content to “go f**k” themselves.

Musk has also repeatedly criticized the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization that fights antisemitism around the world, and faced criticism for allowing pro-Nazi content to remain live on X. (Musk had earlier also threatened to sue the ADL, but later walked back that threat.)

The billionaire has also faced pressure for promoting other conspiracy theories on X, including the dangerous Pizzagate theory.

In the wake of pressure over his leadership of the platform, Musk in November visited Israel, meeting the country’s leaders and walking through a kibbutz destroyed by Hamas in its October 7 attack.

Musk on Monday again expressed his support for the Israeli people, calling himself “aspirationally Jewish,” and said that hate against Jewish people must be addressed. As part of Monday’s event, the billionaire appears to have made a visit to Auschwitz along with his young son.

X owner Elon Musk, centre, walks during his visit to the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi German death camp in Poland, on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, ahead of a speech at a conference hosted by the European Jewish Association.

But despite concerns about an uptick in antisemitic content on X, Musk also admitted that he had been somewhat “naive” about the recent surge in antisemitism across the United States that has been recorded since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

“I must admit to being somewhat frankly naive. In the circles that I move, I see almost no antisemitism,” he said.

The billionaire continued to tout his “free speech” vision for X, saying that “relentless pursuit of the truth is the goal with X and allowing people to say what they want to say, even if it’s controversial provided, provided that it does not break the law.”

Musk also encouraged more world leaders to post on the platform and appeared to reference his past controversial posts as “mistakes.” But he said he thinks that more than 169 million people follow him on X because “I really try to say things that I think are interesting or funny,” although “once a while I’ll do something dumb.”

“It’s only me doing these posts. I don’t have a team or anything,” he said. He encouraged other leaders to post on social media without filtering messages through staff. “Every once in a while you make a mistake. You can’t win them all. Nobody bats 1,000.”