Your move, Linda. Elon Musk said “go fuck yourself” to advertisers who recently stopped spending on X after he endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory on the platform.
On stage at the DealBook conference, Andrew Ross Sorkin asked the owner of X about these advertising breaks. Musk replied, “Don’t advertise.”
“You don’t want them to advertise?” Sorkin said.
“If someone tries to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money? Go yourself,” said Musk. “Go away. fuck Your self. Is that clear?”
He then waved to the audience and said, “Hey, Bob,” referring to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who was also at the event.
Needless to say, this is not an encouraging message for advertisers deciding whether or not to continue giving the platform their ad dollars. And this seems contrary to the strategy of bringing in an advertising industry giant like Linda Yaccarino as CEO.
“What this advertising boycott will do is kill the company,” Musk continued. “And the whole world will know that advertisers are killing the company, and we will document it in great detail.”
Throughout his tenure as owner of X, Musk has sued or threatened to sue nonprofit organizations such as Media Matters, the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League, saying their reports were responsible for the deteriorating relationship between X and advertisers. Companies that have stopped or pulled advertising on X in the past few weeks include Apple, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, IBM, Paramount Global, Lionsgate and the European Commission.
In a post that Musk described as “the actual truth,” an X user accused Jewish communities of spreading “dialectical hatred against whites.”
Musk admitted that his “actual truth” comment was “silly.” He even apologized and said he apologized on stage. But Musk is clearly unrepentant about spreading violence-prone conspiracy theories. Just yesterday, he posted a meme endorsing Pizzagate, a denied conspiracy theory that accused high-ranking Democrats of child sex-trafficking and inspired real-world violence when a Pizzagate stormed a Washington, DC pizzeria with an AR-15. Musk has since deleted the post.
According to research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, X has failed to moderate hate speech on its platform that promotes antisemitic conspiracies, praises Hitler and denigrates Muslims and Palestinians. Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media watchdog, also published a new report showed how ads from companies like Apple, IBM, Bravo, Oracle and Xfinity appeared next to posts praising Nazi ideology. In a statement, X said the report “completely undermines the true user experience of X, in another attempt to undermine freedom of speech and mislead advertisers.” X has filed a case against the media watchdog.