X has been attacked by activist organizations such as Media Matters and legacy corporate media. These groups view the platform as a threat to their ideological agenda and the interests of their financial backers and thus aim to sabotage it by misleading companies to pull ad spending.
At The New York Times' DealBook Summit on Wednesday, Elon Musk silenced a room full of liberal elites as he proclaimed that: "...if someone wants to blackmail me with advertising, they can go f*ck themselves."
NYTimes noted this morning that at least half-dozen marketing agencies said they would keep their clients off X. Others have spoken with clients about reducing ad spending.
"There is no advertising value that would offset the reputational risk of going back on the platform," Lou Paskalis, the founder and CEO of AJL Advisory, a marketing consultancy, told NYTimes.
Over the years, ZeroHedge has also gone through similar ad monetization hell, having lost most of our advertisers because they did not approve content on this website, and as a result, they - together with such members of the Censorship Industrial Complex such as Newsguard, Sleeping Giants and CheckMyAds and various three-letter US government agencies - did everything in their power to attempt to kill the site. Still, thankfully, we survived because of our premium subscribers.
Commenting on the advertiser boycott of X, billionaire Bill Ackman posted on X that Musk "is entirely correct that he and @X are treated unfairly and inconsistently by advertisers."
Ackman pointed out that other social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and others have "enormous amounts of problematic content, antisemitic and otherwise, but the advertisers don't boycott those platforms."
"Musk is targeted because the other media organizations view @X as a competitor and any time his name is in an article about controversies, it draws clicks. MSM is incentivized to attack him as it actually drives attention to their sites and therefore more revenues. It is these attack articles by other media organizations that put pressure on the @Disney's of the world to stop advertising on X," the billionaire said.
As Ackman explained, perhaps Disney's Bob Iger should "carefully examine the facts" and not cave to public pressure. He said, "Meanwhile, Disney invests heavily on TikTok, likely alongside videos of kids teaching other teenagers to be anorexic and worse."
He added: "I am sure Nelson Peltz can fix this when he joins the Disney board."
Ackman said his investment in the "Twitter privatization" was about "free speech," adding, "Whether we make a profit on our investment is not important to us as we never intend to sell our interest."
I thought @elonmusk’s interview with @andrewrsorkin was one of the great interviews ever. Musk is a free speech absolutist which I respect. I think he is entirely correct that he and @X are treated unfairly and inconsistently by advertisers. @tiktok_us @instagram @facebook and… https://t.co/Rtrv4WgEoK— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) December 1, 2023
Suppose Musk is successful with X in the long run and can weather constant bombardments by corporate media and rogue activist groups. In that case, he will break the information matrix that the industrial-corporate media complex has held for decades.
The coming fracture of the corporate media bubble will be epic, and we have already seen billionaires such as Ackman and those associated with 1789 Capital invest in alternative forms of media.