After the newly acquired social media site’s weakened valuation, sitting at just $19 billion, Elon Musk has hit yet another blowback on his current endeavour to revolutionise X, formerly known as Twitter. A year after acquiring the company for $44 billion, many critics have been actively scrutinising the CEO’s actions, such as renaming the brand, charging subscriptions, slumping valuations, and now a new hurdle that must be overcome.
The recent extraction of advertisers such as IBM, Disney, and Apple, among many behemoths of global giants, has proved to be the next conundrum for the tech mogul. After Musk allegedly endorsed an antisemitic post on the platform last week, a report claimed that advertisements for said companies were directly next to “neo-nazi” posts by far-right extremists. Naturally, this led to top market leaders such as IBM, Oracle, Comcast, etc. withdrawing advertisements from the platform, ultimately leading to unease within X as to their perceived reputation, future deals, and quarterly earnings.
Why is the absence of advertisements so detrimental to X? Despite Elo Musk boasting that ‘X could be worth $4 billion now’, other sources, such as TechCrunch, state that the company tanked 56% in one year, which is already disastrous. Alongside this, the absence of advertisers led to a fall in ad revenues of roughly 48%. To make matters worse, Apple, one of the companies that pulled advertisements from the site, warned that they could potentially remove the app from the App Store and remove advertisements completely. Although a brief meeting after this debacle between Tim Cook and ‘Musk calmed the tensions, the threat of a similar global leviathan pulling all affiliations still looms and poses the question: how careful and aware does the billionaire have to be in the future for the sake of his still relatively newly acquired company?
So what has happened since this mess on the social media platform? Elon Musk visited Israel in hopes of retaining the confidence of his apprehensive peers and winning back the trust and sincerity of the Jewish people, as well as having an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times Summit last Wednesday. Now, surely, ‘Musk had this interview meticulously planned and already had a carefully crafted speech prepared by the PR team, but being the bold, outspoken tycoon he is, he demonstrated the contrary. By stating that the alleged people who tried to ‘blackmail him’ should go and f**k themselves multiple times, it is clear that his appeasement for individuals such as Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, is well understated.
Being an internationally renowned tech personage, every action you take becomes scrutinised. This lesson has become crystal clear for Elon Musk, as he will try to evade the same mistakes he made. By stating that his actions in endorsing ‘antisemitic tweets’ were one of the most foolish things he has ever done at X, it has become evident that perhaps his controversial demeanour may be downturned in light of the rollercoaster of previous events.