Eight major corporations have recently withdrawn their advertising from billionaire Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, according to reports.
Several advertisers left X shortly after a recent report by left-wing activist group Media Matters alleged that ads show up next to antisemitic content on the platform, as well as a post by Musk that was interpreted by some as antisemitic. Apple, Comcast, IBM, Lionsgate, Paramount Global, Sony and Warner Bros. Discovery all pulled their advertising from the platform following these antisemitism controversies, according to reports.
Walmart was reportedly the last major advertiser to pull out of X, Reuters reported on Friday. “We aren’t advertising on X as we’ve found other platforms to better reach our customers,” a Walmart spokesperson told the outlet.
However, X clarified that Walmart is still using the platform in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Walmart did not pause because of recent events and has not advertised on X since October, instead the company has just been organically connecting with its community of more than one million people on X,” X’s head of operations Joe Benarroch stated. He added that Walmart is still posting on the platform to its large audience even though it has ceased advertising.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino backed Musk in a Thursday internal memo following his inflammatory comments to advertisers in an interview at The New York Times’ DealBook summit on Wednesday, according to CNBC, which obtained the document. Musk went off on an expletive-laced rant against advertisers, describing their actions as extortion.
“IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination and we have immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this entirely unacceptable situation,” an IBM spokesperson told CNBC after Media Matters’ report showed its ads on antisemitic content.
Advertising accounted for about 90% of Twitter’s revenue prior to Musk purchasing the platform in October 2022, according to The New York Times.
“By him taking the position he took, we felt that the association with that position, and Elon Musk and X, was not a positive one for us,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said at the summit, according to The Verge.
“Don’t advertise,” Musk said at the summit. “If somebody is gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is.”
Yaccarino praised Musk’s comments and echoed his objective of making X a free speech platform, even if it costs the company financially in the memo.
“Our mission at X is bold: to be an open platform without censorship of thought – one that provides people information and the freedom to make up their own minds,” Yaccarino wrote in the memo. “Our principles do not have a price tag, nor will they be compromised – ever. And no matter how hard they try, we will not be distracted by sideline critics who don’t understand our mission.”
Walmart did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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