Staff Reporters
Nov 20, 2023

Elon Musk announces 'thermonuclear' lawsuit as advertisers flee X

Musk threatens to sue media watchdog that said ads were being placed alongside antisemitic content.

Elon Musk announces 'thermonuclear' lawsuit as advertisers flee X
Elon Musk has lashed out at the ongoing advertiser exodus on X, announcing that he would be initiating a "thermonuclear lawsuit" against media watchdog Media Matters and other parties after several brands, including Apple, Warner Bros., Discovery, Sony and Disney, decided to halt their ad spending, at least temporarily, on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
The move follows IBM's decision to suspend advertising on the platform last Thursday, after media watchdog Media Matters announced that it found corporate advertisements by IBM, Apple, Oracle and Comcast’s Xfinity were being placed alongside antisemitic content on X, including that praising Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. 
IBM specifically denounced what it called a "completely unacceptable situation" in a statement following a report released last week by Media Matters, a progressive media monitoring organisation, that claimed pro-Nazi content was discovered on the site alongside advertisements for IBM and other well-known companies.
In a response, Musk wrote on X, “The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and all those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company.”
“This week Media Matters for America posted a story that completely misrepresented the real experience on X, in another attempt to undermine freedom of speech and mislead advertisers,” a statement posted by Musk said.
“Above everything, including profit, X works to protect the public’s right to free speech. But for speech to be truly free, we must also have the freedom to see or hear things that some people may consider objectionable,” he added.
Numerous media sites, including Axios, claim that X has also lost Apple as an advertiser. The tech giant had been one of X’s biggest advertisers and was spending up to US$100 million a year as of November 2022 when Musk bought it, Bloomberg has reported.
The swift speed and extent of the withdrawals from X, previously known as Twitter, coincides with a growing reaction against Musk due to his more outspoken support of extreme viewpoints.
Furthermore, it raises concerns about the viability of a company that Musk and X CEO, Linda Yaccarino had promised would turn a profit as early as next year.
While Musk has denied being antisemitic, he did not address the controversy surrounding his tweet.
In a statement released on Friday, the White House echoed the criticism against Musk's tweet, describing it as an "abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate" that "runs against our core values as Americans."
The White House spokesperson, Andrew Bates, stated in reference to the attacks on October 7 by Hamas against Israel that "it is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie," a month following the Jewish people's bloodiest day since the Holocaust.
Campaign Asia

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