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Elon Musk Goes on a Tirade and Further Alienates Advertisers


Cover Photo (AP News | Michel Euler)


On Wednesday, November 30, Elon Musk, owner of social media site X (formerly known as Twitter), ridiculed and alienated advertisers at the 2023 DealBook Summit in New York for leaving the platform after Musk bolstered antisemitic and other discriminatory posts. 


“If somebody’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f---yourself. — Go. F---. Yourself. Is that clear?” he said.


Interviewer and Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Musk how the platform would survive without major advertisers investing. Later, Sorkin pointed out X CEO Linda Yaccarino sitting amongst the crowd, noting her job requires drawing advertisers to the site.


Musk rebuffed the question, suggesting that his fans and supporters of the platform would boycott the companies divesting from the site. However, he remarked that the lack of major advertisers will likely bankrupt the platform.


“It’s gonna kill the company,” Musk threatened, adding, “The whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company and we will document it in great detail.”


Major corporations such as Apple, Walt Disney, Warner Bros, Sony, Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Walmart all suspended advertising on X after watchdog group Media Matters released reports finding white nationalist and antisemitic posts near their ads.


Additionally, Musk himself endorsed a post featuring an antisemitic and racist conspiracy theory that claimed Jewish communities deliberately drive “hatred against whites” and “hordes of minorities” are flooding Western nations. Musk agreed, stating the post “said the actual truth.”


At the summit, Musk addressed that post and his behavior as “one of the most foolish if not the most foolish thing I’ve ever done on the platform.” 


“I’m sorry for that tweet or post,” he added. 


Despite how his own actions led to these consequences, Musk egged on major advertisers to not spend on X, and advertisers are actively taking the advice. Several marketing agencies representing major brands announced that they will stand firm on their decisions considering Musk’s comments give them no incentive to return.


Furthermore, other markers advised companies to completely abandon the platform altogether. Advertisers who enacted temporary spending pauses against X in recent weeks will unavoidably transition into permanent freezes.

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Tags: #twitter #advertisers #apple #disney #walmart #antisemitism #elon musk #x #advertising


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