Elon Musk is never one to pull punches, even when he’s in a good mood, and now that advertisers are boycotting X (formerly Twitter), he’s not in a good mood and is certainly not pulling punches. Such was obvious when, on Wednesday, Elon appeared at The New York Times’ DealBook/Summit with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.
There, Elon directly confronted the group of companies engaging in the ad boycott of X, “Go fuck yourself.” That came when Elon was discussing the nature of the economic attack on X and argued, quite persuasively, that it is coming to be difficult for them to threaten him, one of the wealthiest men on Earth, with money.
Speaking to Sorkin about the issue, Musk said, “I hope they stop. Don’t advertise. If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is.”
Elon then went on to single out Disney CEO Bob Iger, who said that he does not want Disney to be affiliated with Musk and his comments and whose company stopped advertising on X. Directing his comment toward Iger, Musk said, “Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience.”
Musk also commented, during the event, on a tweet he made that some called anti-Semitic, saying, “I should in retrospect should not have replied to that one person.” He added, “Essentially I handed a loaded gun to those who hate me, and arguably to those are antisemitic, and for that I’m quite sorry. That was not my intention.”
X CEO Linda Yaccarinno, commenting on the advertising situation, said, “Today @elonmusk gave a wide ranging and candid interview at @dealbook 2023. He also offered an apology, an explanation and an explicit point of view about our position. X is enabling an information independence that’s uncomfortable for some people. We’re a platform that allows people to make their own decisions. And here’s my perspective when it comes to advertising: X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you. To our partners who believe in our meaningful work — Thank You.”
Watch Musk here:
X has filed suit against Media Matters, one of the non-profits involved in organizing an advertiser boycott of X over what it calls hate speech on the platform, a boycott some on the right have argued is anti-free speech and an attempt to intimidate X into censorship.
In the lawsuit, X alleges, “Media Matters then exclusively followed a small subset of users consisting entirely of accounts in one of two categories: those known to produce extreme, fringe content, and accounts owned by X’s big-name advertisers. The end result was a feed precision-designed by Media Matters for a single purpose: to produce side-by-side ad/content placements that it could screenshot in an effort to alienate advertisers.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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