Saturday June 22, 2024

Elon Musk's X loses Washington Post ads for allegedly stoking antisemitism

Elon Musk's alleged anti-semitism posts have driven several sponsors abandoning X

By Web Desk
November 29, 2023
An illustration of Elon Musk. — X/@teslarati
An illustration of Elon Musk. — X/@teslarati

The Washington Post has put a "pause" on its advertising on Elon Musk's X, formerly Twitter, following accusations that the tech mogul has been involved in fanning antisemitism through his controversial posts on the microblogging website, as per Andrew Beaujon of the Washingtonian.

Several sponsors have abandoned X in recent weeks. Musk's contentious behaviour continued on Tuesday when he tweeted a meme endorsing the widely disproved "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory popularised by far-right personalities such as Jack Posobiec. Musk later removed his tweet.

Beaujon reported that a Post spokesperson confirmed the ad pause, but that “the spokesperson wasn’t able to confirm how much the Post spent advertising on Twitter/X but said the decision is effective this week and that its ads should stop running on Musk’s platform soon. Twitter did not immediately reply to a request for comment.”

The Post’s well-known tech journalist Taylor Lorenz wrote on Threads Sunday that she had contacted her paper’s ad department. “I asked WaPo’s advertising team for comment on why they continue to fund Musk for this most recent story I did with colleagues on rising anti-semitism, and they declined to respond.”

CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy has been tracking the companies to stop advertising on Twitter. “The exodus from Elon Musk’s X is bleeding beyond advertisers,” Darcy wrote Monday, adding: "Accounts belonging to Disney, Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Warner Bros. Discovery have stopped posting on the platform. Some are now active on Threads."

"Sources familiar with the social media strategies of Paramount and WBD confirmed that it’s no accident: the companies have made the active decision to stop posting under certain handles on X due to concerns, including brand safety.

The Post announced it was halting its advertisements on X in a piece by Drew Harwell headed, "Elon Musk boosts Pizzagate conspiracy theory that led to DC gunfire."