According to a report by the New York Times, Elon Musk's social media platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), may face a loss of up to $75 million in advertising revenue by the end of the year. The report suggests that major brands such as Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft have either paused or considered pausing their ad spending on the platform. X stated that $11 million in revenue was at risk, with the exact figure fluctuating due to some advertisers returning to the platform and others increasing their spending.
X has been struggling with advertisers due to Musk's cuts to content moderation since his ownership group acquired the company and took it private in a $44 billion deal a year ago. The situation worsened after left-wing group Media Matters alleged that the company ran ads for major brands alongside pro-Nazi and antisemitic content. As a result, brands like IBM, Apple, and Lionsgate Entertainment paused their advertising on the platform.
An executive at X clarified that the platform's system does not intentionally place brands next to such content and that ads follow the people on X. X filed a lawsuit against Media Matters, claiming defamation and manipulation of the platform's algorithm to place ads next to antisemitic content.
Musk himself has been involved in controversies related to antisemitism. He has feuded with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) over its claims of rampant antisemitism on X. Musk also appeared to agree with a post claiming Jewish communities have spread "hatred against whites." However, Musk later pushed back on allegations of antisemitism and stated that he wishes the best for humanity.
X has not yet responded to the recent developments. The platform's advertising revenue has been declining significantly since Musk's takeover, with a decline of at least 55% year-over-year each month. Musk is reportedly planning a trip to Israel amid the ongoing controversies.