Billionaire Elon Musk urged users on X to follow an account on Sunday that is currently attempting to monetize graphic war content. Not only that, the account is known for spreading misinformation and antisemitism.
In the post, which was later deleted, Musk cited the account @WarMonitors as a credible source on the current conflict between Israel and Palestine, which broke out this weekend.
“For following the war in real-time, @WarMonitors & @sentdefender are good,” Musk said. “It is also worth following direct sources on the ground. Please add interesting options in replies below.”
Yet misinformation researchers and journalists were quick to point out the account’s lack of credibility.
As noted by Mashable reporter Matt Binder, both the accounts mentioned by Musk helped spread an AI-generated image in May that depicted smoke rising from the Pentagon.
Countless users also pointed out how @WarMonitors has repeatedly harassed Jewish users on the platform and shared antisemitic remarks.
In one such post highlighted by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, the account replied to a Jewish user: “Mind your own business, Jew.”
In another post from last year, @WarMonitors also stated that “the overwhelming majority of people in the media and banks are Zionists.”
The account also promoted The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated text cited by antisemites as evidence of a Jewish plot to control the world.
Although Musk eventually deleted his tweet after significant backlash, @WarMonitors remains verified and is now attempting to profit from the bloodshed in Israel and Palestine.
“I’m posting the ‘graphic’ content from this war on the sub only section (to avoid getting banned), join if u wanna see,” they wrote.
The account’s declaration was seen by many as proof that Musk’s model for X is highly flawed, given that verification can be purchased and money can be earned by users who spread false information.
“One of the two account’s Elon is promoting is now starting an Only Fans-style account where users can pay to see graphic images/videos,” one user noted. “It doesn’t get much lower than this.”
Even users in the replies of @WarMonitors questioned the ethics of such an endeavor.
“So… you’re charging people money to see photos of actual people’s corpses?” one asked.
Since the conflict broke out over the weekend, X has been flooded with what some experts describe as an unprecedented level of misinformation. Verified users, eager to go viral, have shared everything from old footage to clips from video games in an attempt to pass the content off as new.