More major advertisers have paused their investment in X, the social media service formerly known as Twitter, as backlash over Elon Musk’s decision continued. Support for an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. in X.
Entertainment company Warner Bros. and Sony have joined other prominent brands in stopping their spending on X. IBM cut its advertising on X on Thursday, while Apple, Lionsgate, the film and entertainment distribution company, and Paramount Global , the media giant that owns CBS, all suspended their ads on Friday.
The spending freeze comes as X has struggled to win back advertisers who were wary of spending on the platform after Musk took over more than a year ago and said he would relax content moderation rules. Big brands tend to be cautious about placing their ads next to posts with offensive or hate speech.
Musk, who bought Twitter in October 2022 and rebranded it as X, came under scrutiny this week after responding to a post on the “exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites who claim to want people to stop using them against them” and supporting the immigration of “hordes of minorities.”
“You have told the real truth,” Musk said. answered. Jewish groups said Musk’s message fueled a conspiracy theory known as replacement theory, which claims Jews have organized non-white immigrants to replace the white race. The concept was adopted by Robert Bowers, who killed 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.
Musk’s statement drew condemnation from the White House on Friday. White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement that it was “unacceptable to repeat at any time the horrible lie behind the most fatal act of anti-Semitism in American history, much less a month after the deadliest day for the United States.” Jewish people since the Holocaust.”
Musk lashed out at advertisers who had withdrawn their dollars from X on Friday and threatened legal action against Media Matters, a left-wing advocacy organization that said it had found anti-Semitic content in X and highlighted ads for Apple, IBM and other brands that appeared alongside posts promoting Hitler and the Nazi Party.
in a mail On Friday night, Mr. Musk said: “The split-second court opens on Monday, X Corp will file a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company.”
X said the investigative strategy used by Media Matters to uncover ads appearing with anti-Semitic content was not representative of how ordinary people use its platform. The organization tracked the accounts that posted the content and then updated X’s timeline until the ads appeared, X said in a blog entry. Only one of the nine posts highlighted by Media Matters violated its content moderation rules, X added.
In a statement, Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at advertisers. .” And he added: “Data beats accusations.”
Media Matters said it would defend itself against X’s litigation. “Far from being the free speech defender he claims to be, Musk is a bully threatening a meritless lawsuit in an attempt to silence reports he even confirmed are accurate.” “said Angelo Carusone. , the president of Media Matters. “Musk admitted that the ads in question appeared alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. This is like getting angry in front of a mirror because he doesn’t like the reflection. If he sues us, we will win.”
ryan mac contributed reports.