In a recent profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk unleashed a scathing attack on advertisers who abandoned X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Musk, the eccentric billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX, accused companies participating in an ad boycott of attempting to blackmail him.
The controversy stems from concerns about antisemitism on the platform, notably a post from Musk himself, which he later apologized for, deeming it the “dumbest” thing he ever shared online.
However, it was Musk’s fiery response to the ad boycott led by major companies like Disney, Apple, and Comcast that stole the spotlight at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit.
“I don’t want them to advertise. If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money, go [expletive] yourself,” Musk declared, directly addressing Disney CEO Bob Iger, who had spoken earlier at the summit. Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive tasked with rekindling advertiser interest, witnessed Musk’s tirade.
Musk went on to claim that the advertising boycott could be fatal for X, warning, “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company.
The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail.”
This confrontation follows Musk’s recent visit to Israel, where he faced criticism for seemingly endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory in a tweet.
The advertising exodus, however, predates this incident, with many advertisers already redirecting their funds elsewhere.
Despite Musk’s optimistic assertions in April that most advertisers would return, a subsequent post on X revealed a 50% drop in ad revenue.
The situation worsened with a report from Media Matters, alleging ads were placed next to Nazi content. X, now a private company, filed a lawsuit against Media Matters, claiming a misrepresentation of the platform’s user experience.
Musk’s confrontational stance raises doubts about advertisers rushing back, jeopardizing X’s heavy dependence on their financial support.