Advertisers have long been in revolt against Musk’s designs for the site, which have consistently made the platform less appealing for brands to appear upon. But in recent days, advertisers have found new reason to flee the site, after an explosive Media Matters report published earlier this month revealed that X was routinely placing antisemitic and pro-Nazi content alongside advertisements from reputable companies. The aftermath included the mass hemorrhage of some of X’s biggest and most risk-averse advertisers, including Apple, IBM, Disney, Lionsgate, and Paramount.
But in the billionaire’s world, his own actions—which included undermining X’s content moderation abilities, using his personal account to spread Nazi conspiracies, and allowing 105 percent more antisemitic hate speech to spread on the platform—are never to blame. Between the lines of his obscenity-laced freakout, Musk all but admitted that the site was in a death spiral and that he was pivoting to a new plan to absolve himself of any blame for its downfall—one in which, according to his telling, was spurred by a conspiracy among the site’s major advertisers to starve X of revenue.
“What the advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” Musk said, adding that “Earth”—by which he seemed to mean the population of the planet—will ultimately render a verdict on who killed one of the largest tech companies of all time. “And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company, and we’ll document it in great detail.”