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Walmart Joins Growing List of Major Advertisers Exiting Musk’s X Following Explicit Rant

Walmart has joined the list of major advertisers withdrawing from X, Elon Musk’s social media platform, citing concerns about hate speech and a preference for other platforms to reach customers. The decision was made public on Friday, with Walmart stating that it had not advertised on X since October. Joe Benarroch, head of operations at X, mentioned that Walmart has been organically connecting with its community on X, which boasts over one million users. This move follows Elon Musk’s recent expletive-laden comments in response to companies halting spending on X due to concerns about antisemitic and hateful content. Musk referred to these advertisers as engaging in “blackmail” and advised them not to advertise. Walmart’s decision to pull out aligns with other major companies like Walt Disney Co., IBM, NBCUniversal, and Comcast, who have also halted spending on X.

Elon Musk, who took over X (formerly Twitter), faced challenges in retaining advertisers due to concerns about the platform’s content restrictions. Advertisers were worried that the easing of these restrictions under Musk’s leadership was allowing toxic and hateful speech to proliferate, potentially harming their brands. Linda Yaccarino, X’s CEO and a former NBCUniversal executive hired by Musk to rebuild advertiser relations, has faced difficulties in improving the platform’s standing with advertisers. The situation escalated after Musk’s recent controversial remarks during an on-stage interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, where he criticized companies for pulling advertising and used profanity to dismiss their concerns.



Walmart joins list of big firms who pulled ads from Elon Musk's X
Walmart joins list of big firms who pulled ads from Elon Musk’s X

Walmart emphasized its decision to withdraw from X, stating that other platforms were more effective in reaching its customers. While Walmart’s withdrawal was announced on Friday, it seems to have refrained from advertising on X since October. Joe Benarroch from X highlighted Walmart’s significant community on the platform, stating that X reaches 15 billion impressions about holidays alone each year, with over half of its users doing most or all of their shopping online. Despite Musk’s efforts to rebuild ties with advertisers through content moderation, major companies continue to distance themselves from X due to ongoing concerns about hate speech and the platform’s overall content policies.

The situation underscores the challenges faced by Musk and X in balancing the need for content moderation and the desire to attract and retain advertisers. The impact of these withdrawals on X’s long-term viability remains uncertain, as advertisers express ongoing reservations about the platform’s content policies and its ability to provide a safe and brand-friendly environment.

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