Several major advertisers have announced they are cutting off their spending on microblogging site X after Elon Musk’s post on social media platform endorsing antisemitic conspiracy theory, The New York Times reported.
Disney said it was halting spending on X. Similarly, Lionsgate, the entertainment and film distribution company, and Paramount Global, the media giant that owns CBS announced they are pausing spending on X.
Apple, which spends tens of millions of dollars a year on X, also announced suspension of advertising on X, The New York Times reported citing a person with knowledge of the situation. On Thursday, IBM announced that it will cut its spending on X.
The decision of companies comes after Musk agreed with a post that said Jewish people who are facing antisemitism amid the Israel-Hamas war of pushing the “exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them” and supporting the immigration of “hordes of minorities.” Musk responded, “You have said the actual truth.”
On Friday, the White House condemned Elon Musk for boosting the anti-Jewish conspiracy theory, calling it “unacceptable,” The New York Times reported.
In a statement, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said that it was “unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”
X’s chief executive, Linda Yaccarino in a statement shared on the site on Thursday said that the company had been “extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination.” However, on Friday, Musk agreed with a post on X.
He later said that accounts that made “clear calls for extreme violence” would be suspended. In a post shared on X, Musk stated, “As I said earlier this week, “decolonization”, “from the river to the sea” and similar euphemisms necessarily imply genocide. Clear calls for extreme violence are against our terms of service and will result in suspension.”
Advertisers have become apprehensive about X since Musk purchased X and said he wanted more free sp0eech and would loosen content moderation rules, which implied that the social media platform could theoretically place brands’ ads next to posts with offensive or hateful speech.
Many companies, including General Motors and Volkswagen, have balked several times over the past year at having their promotions appear alongside a documented surge in hate speech, misinformation and foreign propaganda on X, The New York Times reported.
In April, Elon Musk announced that nearly all advertisers had returned on the platform, without revealing whether they were spending at the same levels. He later said that the ad revenue had reduced by 50 per cent. (ANI)
Musk to sue non-profit Media Matters
Elon Musk on Saturday said X will file a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against non-profit organisation Media Matters and those who “colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company,” as big advertisers like Apple, Disney, Warner Bros, IBM and others reportedly paused advertising on the platform for allegedly promote antisemitism.
Media Matters in its report had claimed that as Musk continues his descent into white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories, his social media platform has been placing ads for major brands like Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity (Comcast) next to content that supports Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.
The report led to tech and media majors like Apple, IBM, Disney, Warner Bros, Discovery, Paramount and Comcast/NBCUniversal reportedly pulling or halting their advertisements, along with Lionsgate and European Commission, on X.
The billionaire X owner posted: “The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company.”
“Their board, their donors, their network of dark money, all of them,” he added.
Musk also posted a letter, defending his company and slamming Media Matters report and legacy media organisation.
“Despite our clear and consistent position, X has seen a number of attacks from activist groups like Media Matters and legacy media outlets who seek to undermine freedom of expression on our platform because they perceive it as a threat to their ideological narrative and those of their financial supporters,” the letter read.
The letter alleged that these groups try to use their influence to attack “our revenue streams by deceiving advertisers on X”.
“To manipulate the public and advertisers, Media Matters created an alternate account and curated the posts and advertising appearing on the account’s timeline to misinform advertisers about the placement of their posts,” the letter argued.
Earlier on Saturday, Musk posted: “Media Matters is pure evil.”
X CEO Linda Yaccarino said that their point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should stop across the board.
“When it comes to this platform — X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world — it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop,” she posted.