(Bloomberg) -- Linda Yaccarino, the chief executive officer of social media service X, acknowledged that some advertisers are taking a break from the platform following outrage over antisemitic content and commentary, some of it endorsed by the site’s owner, Elon Musk.
Yaccarino cited “a misleading and manipulated article” for spurring some advertisers to temporarily pause spending, a reference to a Media Matters piece that said ads from big brands were placed near offensive content. She follows Musk in criticizing the report, which they say misrepresents the experience on X, formerly Twitter.
“The data will tell the real story,” Yaccarino said in a memo to staff on Sunday. “Because for all of us who work at X, we’ve been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination, as there’s no place for it anywhere in the world.”
X faced a widespread backlash on Friday after Musk agreed with a post that said Jewish people hold a “dialectical hatred” of White people. “You have said the actual truth,” Musk responded.
His commentary added to outrage after Thursday’s Media Matters report, which said ads for Apple Inc., International Business Machines Corp., Oracle Corp., Comcast Corp.’s Xfinity brand and the Bravo television network ran next to pro-Nazi content. That led IBM, Apple, Walt Disney Co., Paramount Global and others to stop advertising on X until the situation is resolved.
“Across every corner of this company, we’re working to create a platform for everyone,” Yaccarino said in the letter. “And there is no other platform that’s working as hard to protect free speech like X. Our work is critical, but it’s not always easy. What we’re doing matters, which means it naturally invites criticism from those who do not share our beliefs.”
Musk railed against “bogus” media reports accusing him of antisemitism. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Musk said in a post on X.
Musk has long drawn fire for promoting hate speech. His latest post prompted criticism from both politicians and some of the world’s biggest companies, which have urged the billionaire to better control content on his platform.
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