Elon Musk Changes Tack, Courting X Advertisers He Once Told to Take a Flying Leap. Will It Work?

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Elon Musk is not only one of the richest people on the planet, but he's also one of the more interesting ones. His purchase of Twitter (now, X ) almost overnight transformed him from a leftist icon who builds electric cars to a media villain, when he decided that free speech was a valuable thing to everyone.

He felt it was so valuable that he spent 44 billion dollars of his own money to buy the platform. Talk about backing up your views, rather than just flapping your gums about an issue.

Rich people who are also interesting sometimes come with the tag of being a bit controversial, and Elon fits that bill also. Possibly, you might remember this from back in November of 2023, when he stood up to the politically correct, woke crowd trying to shame him:

Musk was asked about the entertainment giant's decision to not advertise on X in the face of a far-left campaign to bleed the social media site dry. To put it lightly, the billionaire then threw caution to the wind, even mentioning Disney CEO Bob Iger by name.

(WARNING: Strong language)

MUSK: Don't advertise. 

HOST: You don't want them to advertise? 


HOST: What do you mean

MUSK: If someone is going to try to blackmail with advertising, blackmail me with money. Go *** yourself...Go **** yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey Bob...(unintelligible).

Well, that's certainly one way to handle the situation. Musk is obviously frustrated with the smears that have been made against him and his company, including the idea that he is antisemitic. Left-wing activist groups have been running a shadow campaign to get advertisers to boycott X, not because they believe Musk actually is antisemitic (the evidence says he's clearly not) but because they want to destroy the one social media site that (mostly) allows free speech. Other sites like Facebook and Instagram have a hard-left bent to their moderation, including throttling conservative news sources. 

Some are responding to Musk by pointing out that his words are likely to drive advertisers further away. I'm not sure that matters, though. We are talking about the richest man on the planet. Musk does not need X to succeed as a financial venture. That's not to say he doesn't want it to, but he is not controlled by market forces in this case. So, if companies like Disney want to join a left-wing blackmail attempt, Musk has the freedom to speak his mind about the situation without fear of ruination.

Read More:

 WATCH: Elon Musk Launches Into Profanity-Filled Criticism of Disney on Live Television

I'm sure since his shooting-off-the-hip comments back in Nov. of 2023 he has had some time to reflect on his comments, and being the wise businessman he is, he decided to change his tack a bit, which I read about right here:

Seven months after declaring that advertisers pulling their ads from his social-media platform X could “go f— yourself,” Elon Musk took a more congenial tone onstage at the advertising industry’s most important annual festival.

Musk joined Mark Read, chief executive of ad giant WPP, in a session Wednesday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France, a five-day event that draws thousands of the industry’s chief marketing officers, tech leaders, creative workers and others from around the world. 

“Back in November, you had a message to us. You told us to go f— ourselves,” Read said. “Why did you say that? And what did you mean by that?”

Musk said that he had not intended the message for advertisers as a whole. 

“It was with respect to freedom of speech,” he said. “Advertisers have a right to appear next to content that they find compatible with their brands. That’s totally fine…What is not cool is insisting that there can be no content that they disagree with on the platform.” 

X in November was grappling with the departure of several large advertisers in the wake of a post by the billionaire describing a post that espoused an antisemitic conspiracy theory as “the actual truth.”

Musk later that month called the advertisers’ response “blackmail” and said the advertising boycott was “going to kill the company.” He also said he had tried to clarify after his post that he hadn’t meant anything antisemitic.

I, for one, am very glad that Musk is willing to at least open the door to encouraging advertisers back to the X platform, and to slowly make it less of a drag on his portfolio. He invested a glob of his own money and it will be great for the long-term viability of the platform if it moves towards probability, even if it takes years to do.

We are still operating under the heavy hand of social media censorship, and X being a free speech platform is a bright spot in an otherwise dim landscape. Particularly with the POTUS election happening this November. it is more important than ever.



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