Elon Musk recently appeared to show support for antisemitic conspiracy theories and white pride on X, his social platform (formerly Twitter), leading to a Media Matters article that revealed major companies’ advertisements appearing alongside pro-Nazi content. As a result, prominent advertisers ceased their ad spending on the platform. In response to the controversy, CEO Linda Yaccarino issued a memo titled “Our Work Is Meaningful,” reaffirming her dedication to X.
As pressure mounts for the company to distance itself from supporting antisemitism, Forbes reported that advertisers are urging Yaccarino to resign. Yaccarino, a former NBCUniversal chairperson with strong ties to the ad industry, was brought in to mend relationships with the companies that contribute the majority of X’s revenue. Advertisers were already concerned about their ads appearing next to antisemitic or bigoted posts, but their concern heightened when the platform’s owner seemed to be actively promoting conspiracies about the Jewish community.
In a company-wide email to X employees, Yaccarino expressed her enthusiasm about the company’s current direction. In the memo, first published by The Hollywood Reporter and obtained by The Verge, she stated that advertisers had “temporarily paused investments” — referring to major advertisers like Apple, Disney, and IBM pulling their business from the platform due to Musk’s apparent endorsement of antisemitism. She also attributed the platform’s tarnished reputation to what she believed were “manipulated” articles. She mentioned that “The data will tell the real story,” potentially alluding to Musk’s post / screenshot indicating his intention to sue Media Matters.
Media Matters’ president Angelo Carusone responded, “Elon Musk has spent the last few days making meritless legal threats, promoting bizarre conspiracy theories, and launching vicious personal attacks against his ‘enemies’ online. Even if he does not follow through with his threat to sue, the volatility of actions reinforces why major brands are rightly hesitant to partner with X.”
Semafor reports that Yaccarino has involved her son Matt Madrazo to revamp X’s political advertising business in an effort to compensate for the revenue lost due to the “temporarily paused investments” of some of the company’s major clients.
Read Linda Yaccarino’s full memo here.