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What is the controversy about Walmart pulling their advertising from X?

Walmart publicly joined a long list of companies that will no longer advertise on X after controversial posts by the social platform’s owner Elon Musk.

Walmart yanks ads from Elon Musk’s X platform

Name association has much to do when marketing a product and after the owner of X, formerly known as twitter, Elon Musk replied “[y]ou have said the actual truthin response to an antisemitic trope referencing the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory posted by another user of the platform many big-name companies said they would no longer advertise on X. On Friday, Walmart publicly said that it too would no longer be giving its advertising dollars to the social media platform which has been beleaguered since the billionaire took over Twitter, now renamed X, last year.

The tech entrepreneur came in saying that he would make the platform profitable by creating a “free speech” environment. However, since he walked in through the front door carrying a sink the platform has been going down the drain. Purchased for $44 billion, Musk recently told employees that the company is now worth $19 billion. Musk said of the latest advertising “boycott” that “the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company and we’ll document it in great detail.”

What is the controversy about Walmart pulling their advertising from X?

Walmart is just the latest company to make public their decision to yank their ads from X, joining the likes of Apple, Comcast, Disney, IBM, Lions Gate Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Paramount Global and Warner Bros Discovery. While the social media platform had been struggling to regain advertising revenue since Musk took over the company, ad revenue was down as much as 60 percent a year after his acquisition, between a report from the hate speech in media watchdog Media Matters and X’s owner’s post supporting the antisemitic trope a further a new exodus from the platform was sparked.

Although Musk apologized for the post in question while speaking at the New York Times’ Dealbook Summit saying: “It was foolish of me. Of the 30,000 it might be literally the worst and dumbest post I’ve ever done,” he was quite defiant about the decision of companies distancing themselves from his platform. “I hope they stop. Don’t advertise,” he told Andrew Ross Sorkin and accused them of trying to “blackmail” him and said that anybody that was doing so could “go f--- yourself.”

So why is Walmart’s decision to withdraw their advertising from X controversial? It isn’t. According to Joe Benarroch, head of Operations at X, Walmart “paused” its advertising on the platform in October before the controversy around Musk’s inflamatory post.

However, there is a segment of society that lashes out at anything that offends them but as well get upset, and in this case call it “woke,” when they can’t understand that somethings offend other people and that companies don’t want their name associated with those things. It’s called a free society, free speech and the free market.