On Saturday, Elon Musk, the owner of social media platform X, openly criticized major advertisers for suppressing users’ freedom of speech.
What Happened: This criticism came as several prominent advertisers withdrew their ads from X, formerly Twitter, amid the controversy surrounding Musk’s support for an antisemitic post on Wednesday.
Companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. (NASDAQ: WBD), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF) have pulled advertisements from the platform.
Musk, in response, attacked these top-tier advertisers, calling them “the greatest oppressors of free speech.”
Premium+ also has no ads in your timeline.
Many of the largest advertisers are the greatest oppressors of your right to free speech. https://t.co/dVkTMaGV2b
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2023
The tension between social media networks and their advertising partners has been escalating, as platforms like X, which claims to advocate for free speech, have been confronted with advertisers’ concerns about association with controversial content.
Following the backlash surrounding Musk’s endorsement of the antisemitic post on Wednesday, X CEO Linda Yaccarino stated on the platform the next day, “X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board — I think that’s something we can and should all agree on. When it comes to this platform — X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world — it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop.”
X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board — I think that’s something we can and should all agree on. When it comes to this platform — X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and…
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayaX) November 16, 2023
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