A number of online personalities on X (fka Twitter) are banding together to show support for the platform and its controversial owner, Elon Musk. The move is said in solidarity for the polarizing tech mogul and his social media company in support of defending “free speech.”
Most recently, many advertisers on X have been pulling ads after Musk seemed to have doubled down on his opinion about the ongoing deadly conflict in Gaza. Musk’s history of controversial statements includes his views on immigration and past involvement in anti-Semitic arguments.
As a response, Musk called Media Matters, the organization that pointed out IBM ads are placed among antisemitic posts, an “evil organization.” The billionaire followed this up with a threat (and subsequent filing) of “a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack” on X, accompanied with a call to “stand with X to protect free speech.”
“Without freedom of speech we lose the checks and balances critical to a thriving democracy. We must defend our individual rights as if our lives, and flourishing society, depend on it,” Musk said in his public letter. “If you’re really in on protecting free speech, then we all need to protect it completely.”
Ironically, placing ads on social media platforms like X is a prerogative of the advertiser. Choosing to place or not to place ads is inherently an expression of freedom of speech.
Crowdfunding and boycotting
This grew into a budding movement to raise money and attempt to fill in the huge advertising revenue gap left by the withdrawing advertisers.
“As others are pulling their ad spend to punish Muck for the crime of letting free people speak, the Bee is committing to spending more. Today I’m pledging $250,000 toward a new ad campaign on X,” said The Babylon Bee’s Seth Dillon, who featured Musk in a profile interview.
This was followed by other similar online creators and accounts on X committing to ad spend, including Timcast, Censored TV, and Donut Operator, among others. Tim Pool of Timcast shared in July that he received nearly $6,000 from X as part of the ad revenue-share scheme X implemented on its platform with so-called creators.
Meanwhile, Charlie Kirk, host of his eponymous online show, called to boycott supporting the withdrawing X advertisers. The list of companies include Apple, IBM, Disney, etc.
“Make it hurt. End subscriptions. Don’t go to their movies. Light them up in the comments. Cancel that new set of AirPods, etc. Stop supporting those who hate free speech,” Kirk said on his post.
Despite the backlash, Musk has previously refuted claims of antisemitism, asserting that he is “aspirational Jewish.” His discord has, at times, seemed directed toward the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), whom he threatened to sue after the nonprofit organization documented an increase in hate speech on X since Musk’s acquisition.
Addressing the situation last week, X CEO Linda Yaccarino stated, “X has been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination.” She unequivocally stated, “There’s no place for it anywhere in the world — it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop.”
Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.