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Why did Walmart suspend all advertising with X? What other companies have pulled their ads from Twitter?

X has seen a dramatic decline in advertising revenue on the platform since Elon Musk’s takeover. Why have Walmart and other significa companies backed out?

Update:
FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk 's X account is seen in this illustration taken, July 24, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
DADO RUVICREUTERS

Walmart, one of the world’s largest and most recognizable retailers, has pulled all its ads from the social media platform X, formally known as Twitter.

The news comes after Elon Musk, who purchased the platform in 2022, has been accused of holding antisemitic beliefs after making those beliefs known through his posts. On Friday, Walmart said they had “found some other platforms better for reaching out to customers” and made no reference to Musk’s scandal. CBS News has reported that Walmart had been planning to “scale back” its ads on X and that it just so happens to coincide with the events of last week. The company also told CBS that they would continue to engage with the community they have garnered on the platform but that their monetary investment would come down in the coming weeks.

The exchange that may have cost Musk his platform

The exchange took place between Musk and a user with the handle @breakingbaht, who made a post saying that “Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them” adding that he was “deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest shit now about western Jewish populations coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much.”

Musk responded, “You have said the truth,” agreeing with the deeply antisemitic message that Jewish activism for social and racial justice is an attack on “whites.”

The walk back...

Before backtracking, Musk granted an interview in which he alleged that companies were accountable for killing the X platform by pulling their advertisements from it. He also stated that he would not be coerced with money. Musk’s comments indicate that he has a fundamental misunderstanding of the issues that companies face with advertising on X. They see it as a reputational risk in case their ad appears next to comments such as those made by Musk on November 15.

The comments made by Elon Musk were widely condemned and he apologized last week, acknowledging that it was “one of the most foolish” posts he had made on the platform. Many people see this incident as an example of the billionaire’s antisemitism and believe that Musk’s apology and retrospective retraction were made to appease investors and companies who advertise on the site.

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