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Elon Musk’s greatest challenge is advertising exodus



The company’s chief executive Linda Yaccarino has spent the past week moving to stave off the advertiser exodus, making public statements denouncing antisemitism.

She wrote X had 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,” she said.

Much like Tesla’s chairman, Australian corporate veteran Robyn Denholm, Yaccarino seems stymied in her efforts to rein Musk in.


Yaccarino said in a recent interview that X could be close to turning a profit in early 2024, but that claim was made before many of the company’s largest advertisers deserted it.

Meanwhile, Media Matters has hit back at the threat of a lawsuit. Its president Angelo Carusone issued a statement declaring that “if he does sue us, we will win”.

“Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate,” Carusone says in the statement.

“Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified.”

Musk, as he so often is, has again been his own worst enemy.

The platform he bought for $US44 billion ($67.6 billion) last year is increasingly alienating its advertisers and its users, becoming more like former US president Donald Trump’s tech platform Truth Social, which is itself struggling to survive without advertising revenue, than the Twitter of old.

Attention in coming days will turn to which Australian companies will follow suit and join the likes of IBM and Disney in pulling their funding from X.

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