Monday, July 15, 2024

Several major advertisers have halted their spending on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, after Elon Musk’s endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory caused widespread backlash.

Warner Bros. and Sony, as well as IBM, Apple, Lionsgate, and Paramount Global, have all paused their ads on X. This spending freeze comes as X has been trying to regain the trust of advertisers after Musk took over and announced plans to loosen content moderation rules.

Musk’s controversial reply to a post on X about Jewish people facing antisemitism during the Israel-Hamas war drew criticism from Jewish groups and the White House. The statement led to a wave of advertisers pulling their ads from X, prompting Musk to threaten legal action against Media Matters.

X defended its platform, stating that the method used by Media Matters to discover the ads running alongside antisemitic content was not representative of typical user behavior. The company also emphasized that only one of the highlighted posts violated its content moderation rules.

Despite Musk’s threats of legal action, Media Matters promised to defend itself if sued. A representative for the organization accused Musk of attempting to silence accurate reporting and expressed confidence in winning any potential lawsuit.

Ryan Mac contributed reporting.

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