Speaking at the 2023 DealBook Summit in New York on Wednesday, Elon Musk, the owner of social media site X (formerly Twitter), scoffed at advertisers boycotting the platform because of because of antisemitic posts he amplified there.

“If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f—yourself.” He added, “Don’t advertise.”

He also implied that fans of his, and of X, would boycott those advertisers in kind. He specifically took aim at Disney.

“The whole world will know that those advertisers killed company and we will document it in great detail,” Musk threatened.

He also told interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin, “I have no problem being hated. Hate away.”

In recent weeks, Musk has promoted and sometimes verbally endorsed what the White House called “antisemitic and racist hate” on X, formerly Twitter, the social media platform he owns and runs as CTO.

He called those tweets, “one of the most foolish if not the most foolish thing I’ve ever done on the platform.”

“I’m sorry for that tweet or post,” he said. He added, “I tried my best to clarify, six ways to Sunday, but you know at least I think over time it will be obvious that in fact, far from being antisemitic, I am in fact philosemitic.”

His inflammatory posts on the social media platform led large advertisers, including Disney, Apple, and many others, to suspend campaigns there, and drove some famous users away from the platform, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has denied that he is antisemitic, and said that on X, “Clear calls for extreme violence are against our terms of service and will result in suspension.”

He also traveled to Israel this week, where he met and spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When Netanyahu said he wanted to “deradicalize” and “rebuild” Gaza, Musk offered to help. Musk told Sorkin on stage that his visit to Israel was planned before his tweets, and were not part of an “apology tour.” Previously, Musk had said he wanted to bring SpaceX satellite communications service to Israel and humanitarian organizations in Gaza.

Musk also clarified that his visit to Israel was planned before his tweets, and were not part of an “apology tour.”

Musk’s personal account on X currently displays a follower count of more than 164 million — though tech blog Mashable reported in August that a majority of Musk’s listed followers appeared to be inauthentic or inactive accounts.

Later in the interview, Musk mentioned SpaceX’s competition with Blue Origin, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s space company, and said he was glad Bezos was also spending money on space travel. “If there were a button I could press to delete Blue Origin, I wouldn’t press it.”

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Sorkin asked, “Do you feel like anybody has leverage over you?”

Musk replied, “If we make bad proudcts that people don’t want to use, the users will vote with their resources and use something else. My companies are overseen by regulators. SpaceX, Starlink, Tesla — are overseen by cumulatively by…a few hundred regulators because we’re in 55 countries.”

Sorkin asked, “How do you think about the leverage that the Chinese have over you?” alluding to Tesla’s factory there and the company’s reliance on Chinese consumers for a percentage of its sales. Sorkin added, “Is it hypocritical for you to be doing business in China, or other countries, as it relates to X and other things that don’t follow this free speech path that you have espoused?”

The CEO replied, “The best that the platform can do is adhere to the laws of any given country. Do you think there’s something more we can do than that?”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com

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