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Elon Musk In Crisis Control Following Advertiser Exodus Over Antisemitic Posts on X

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Elon Musk is seeking to do damage control following an advertising pullout over antisemitic remarks he made on X.
Elon Musk is seeking to do damage control following an advertising pullout over antisemitic remarks he made on X. (Photo: Archive)

Elon Musk is engaged in damage control following an advertising exodus triggered by his antisemitic remarks on X, the social media platform he acquired last year, formerly known as Twitter. On Monday, Musk toured an Israeli kibbutz attacked by Hamas on October 7, accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit included locations affected by the attack, with Musk being briefed on incidents involving casualties.

Despite its state visit-like appearance, Musk’s trip faced criticism, especially from detractors of Netanyahu, accusing them of attempting an image rehabilitation effort. Esther Solomon, editor-in-chief of Haaretz, condemned Musk as an antisemite and criticized Netanyahu for granting him a PR visit.

Musk’s controversy began with an antisemitic social media post endorsing a user’s content promoting the “great replacement theory.” This led to widespread condemnation and major companies like Apple and IBM pulling advertising from X. Musk responded by suing Media Matters for America, which had reported on X placing ads next to hateful content.

The trip to Israel is seen by some as a calculated move to repair relations with advertisers. Others suggest it could be tied to a business deal, particularly as the Israeli government announced an agreement to use Musk’s Starlink satellites.

Critics argue that Musk’s history of reshaping X’s guidelines, his interactions with extremist voices, and promotion of unfounded theories have contributed to a proliferation of problematic content on the platform. Musk, in response to the recent outrage, denies being antisemitic and attributes it to media distortion.

Tech and media watchdogs remain skeptical, pointing to Musk’s track record and raising concerns about his influence, especially considering his role in loosening content rules on X.

Despite Musk’s efforts to distance himself from the controversy, he faces a significant reputational crisis.

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