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Advertisers Leaving X Following Musk Comments

Advertisers Leaving X Following Musk Comments

Sarah Hardacre
Many advertisers, large and small, have stopped spending their ad budgets on X (formerly Twitter) following Elon Musk’s comments supporting extremist views.

Advertisers started moving off the platform when Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory and promoted the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory, with some also wary of the increase in extremist content and hate speech rampant on X since Musk’s takeover.

Advertisers from all industries have pulled their advertising spend from X, including IBM, Disney, Paramount, Coca Cola, Ubisoft, Axios, and TechCrunch.

The social media company, however, blames the latest exodus of advertisers on a report from Media Matters that observed “X has been placing ads for Apple, Bravo, IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity next to pro-Nazi content.” In response to the report from Media Matters, Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit accusing the media watchdog nonprofit group of distorting the data and putting into question the group’s methodology for its analysis.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino has said that “brands are now ‘protected from the risk of being next to’ potentially toxic content.” To further encourage advertisers to come back to its platform, X claims that it “works to protect the public’s right to free speech” and “will not allow agenda-driven activists, or even our own profits, to deter our vision.”

With high-profile advertisers leaving X, The New York Times has estimated that the platform could lose $75 million in advertising revenue by the end of the year. X has countered that the newspaper inflated the number and is likely relying on old or incorrect data. It estimates that only $11 million of ad revenue is at risk.

Not only are advertisers moving away from the platform, but users are as well. Mid-November, the White House joined Threads and created official accounts for itself, the president, the first lady, the vice president, and the second gentleman. The Biden campaign has also said that the president and vice president will create personal accounts as well.

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