White House Opens Accounts for Biden, Harris on Meta's Threads

(Bloomberg) -- White House officials have opened accounts on the social media platform Threads, days after they condemned Elon Musk’s endorsement of antisemitic content in a post on X that provoked outrage and alienated advertisers.

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Accounts were created for President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, the White House said on Monday. The other accounts are @whitehouse and @lacasablanca.

A White House spokeswoman, Robyn Patterson, said the reason for the move is because “we are committed to meeting people where they are.”

“Since the beginning of the administration we’ve used traditional media, digital media, SMS programs, and other innovative ways to reach Americans as they communicate today,” Patterson said.

The White House described Threads as an additional way to share the administration’s actions, and said the decision had been in motion for several weeks.

The White House isn’t considering ending use of its X accounts, according to a person familiar with the matter. Threads is owned by Meta Platforms Inc., the parent of Facebook.

“The wait is Joe-ver,” the White House said in its first Thread post.

Harris, in her initial post, said “I appreciate a candid dialogue about issues that are important to you and I look forward to continuing the conversation here on Threads.”

Earlier: Musk Defends Himself on X After Antisemitic Furor Deepens

Musk, X’s owner as well as the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., last week agreed with a post that said Jewish people hold a “dialectical hatred” of white people, responding: “You have said the actual truth.”

Biden aides spotted the Musk remark on X, which they still use regularly, and it angered them, according to people familiar with the situation.

They felt it was beyond the pale for Musk to elevate the same conspiracy theory espoused by the gunman who in 2018 killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, and that it was necessary to speak out against it, one of the people said.

A range of advertisers have halted spending on X after a Media Matters report found that several companies ran ads on the social media platform next to pro-Nazi content. Musk has complained about reports regarding the episode. “This past week, there were hundreds of bogus media stories claiming that I am antisemitic,” he wrote. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

(Updates with new detail on accounts, decision, starting in fifth paragraph.)

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