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Monday, June 24, 2024

Major Advertisers Abandon Elon Musk’s X, Escalating Crisis

On Friday, a cascade of well-known brands suspended their advertising on X, significantly blowing up Elon Musk’s social media company. This followed Musk’s recent public endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory embraced by White supremacists.

Prominent companies participating in the advertiser revolt include global media giants like Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN’s parent company. Additionally, Apple, as reported by various news outlets, including Axios, joined the list of companies distancing themselves from X.

Despite multiple requests for comment, Apple remained silent on the matter.

The rapid and widespread withdrawal of advertisers from X, formerly Twitter, reflects a growing backlash against Musk for his outspoken support of extremist ideologies. This development raises uncertainties about the future of the business, challenging Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino’s earlier commitment to restoring profitability by as early as next year.

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This wave of advertising pauses follows IBM’s similar action on Thursday. IBM took this step after its ads were found alongside pro-Nazi content on the platform, explicitly condemning the situation as “entirely unacceptable.”

X, formerly Twitter, faces heightened scrutiny as major brands distance themselves from the platform. Linda Yaccarino, X’s CEO, emphasized the platform’s efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination in a social media post on Friday. Musk also issued a statement on X, declaring a policy against advocating the genocide of any group.

Media Matters, a watchdog group, reported that ads from Apple, Comcast, NBC, Oracle, and IBM had appeared alongside objectionable content. Oracle, however, has not responded to requests for comment.

In response to a Media Matters report, X stated that pro-Nazi accounts identified would no longer be eligible for monetization, ensuring that ads would not run on those pages. Earlier in August, NCTA and Gilead Sciences had also paused their spending on X after their ads appeared alongside pro-Nazi content.

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