The world has seen many dark times, but 2020 has brought forth an increase in hatred towards certain groups. Antisemitism has seen a particular surge, characterised by a number of online attacks and hate speech. So much so, that it caused a great uproar in the public sphere, and recently drew the attention of global magnate Elon Musk.
However, the fact that he drew attention to it is cause for great concern, as it only seems to have furthered the already present danger. His behaviour only served to show that the way in which he is using his global influence to amplify his platform can have unforeseen consequences.
Elon Musk has, in the past, voiced his support for the Jewish population by joining the Israeli-American Task Force. Yet his words recently stirred up the online community in an unexpected way. Through Twitter, his post was shared with an immense reach. The post acted as an amplifier for the antisemitic sentiments in the Twitter sphere, leading to controversial comments targeting the Jewish population.
In the scope of his extremely large fanbase, it is sad to see that he has used it to detriment of many, despite initially aiming to bring forth positive change.
This episode brought forth the old debate of celebrities using their large social media platform for good or bad. While they may intend to spread a message of support, as Elon Musk did, it is not always an unequivocal success. It seems that celebrities need to be aware that sometimes, even well-intended words can cause serious damage.
The power of social media, in this case, was abused to an extent that had precedent, but the episode highlighted the worrying consequences of such actions. It is important that celebrities use their influence responsibly, especially in a world already chosen by hatred.
The world has been through difficult times, with antisemitism being a pizzicato for the uncertainty of it all. Hopefully, this episode has sparked a necessary discussion and brought forth awareness, while reminding us why responsible behaviour is extremely important in our societies today.