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Elon Musk Curses at Advertisers Who Abandoned X

NEW YORK — Elon Musk, a billionaire, voiced his frustration on Wednesday, stating that advertisers who have halted spending on his social media platform X in response to antisemitic and other hateful material are engaging in “blackmail” and, using a profanity, essentially told them to go away.

“Don’t advertise,” Musk said.

He appeared to specifically call out Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger, saying, “Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience … that’s how I feel.”

During an on-stage interview at The New York Times DealBook Summit, Musk also apologized for endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory in response to a post on X that contributed to an advertiser exodus.

These comments come just two days after Musk’s visit to Israel, where he toured a kibbutz attacked by Hamas militants and held talks with top leaders.

Musk has faced accusations from the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish civil rights organization, and others of tolerating antisemitic messages on the platform since purchasing it last year. The content on X, formerly Twitter, has gained increased scrutiny since the war between Israel and Hamas began in October.

A number of major brands, including Disney and IBM, ceased advertising on the platform this month after a report by liberal advocacy group Media Matters indicated that their ads were appearing alongside pro-Nazi content and white nationalist posts.

X has since filed a lawsuit against Media Matters, accusing the Washington-based nonprofit of fabricating the report to “drive advertisers from the platform and destroy X Corp.”

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