An apple. Disney. IBM. NBCUniversal. Sony. These are simple some of the big companies who stopped their ad campaigns on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, over the past few days.
Since then, many right-wing media companies and influencers have banded together and pledged support for Elon Musk, promising to advertise on X to make up for lost revenue from fleeing businesses.
Elon Musk wants Twitter / X to replace your bank account. Here’s how it will work.
Last week, Elon Musk voiced his support for an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that claims Jewish groups are replacing white people with immigrants from minority groups. Musk’s endorsement of this X conspiracy also coincided with a report by Media Matters for America that showed how big brand ads were appearing in pro-Nazi and pro-Hitler content. The combination of these two issues seems to have created a situation where many large companies feel they can no longer advertise on the platform.
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On Saturday, Seth Dillon, CEO of the conservative satire site Babylon Bee, announced that his company would spend $250,000 advertising X to support “free speech.” Dylan’s support for Musk should come as no surprise. Babylon Bee’s suspension on Twitter at the time was one of the reasons why Musk was interested in acquiring the social media platform to begin with.
Shortly thereafter, so did YouTuber Tim Poole staked to spend the same amount on X ads “over the next few months.”
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Soon, more right-wing media figures and companies followed suit with pledges of their own, albeit far less than the amounts Dylan and Poole were promising. Political commentator Benny Johnson, for example, pledged $50,000 in advertising spending. Other right-wing creatives such as The Quartering, Donut Operator, Gavin McInnes and Elijah Schaffer have pledged smaller amounts, ranging from $2,500 to $40,000.
The controversial Andrew Tate, a “manosphere” influencer who previously was accused of rape and human traffickingbet the highest amount, saying he would give Musk $1 million a month without even running ads for his own ventures.
“I will promote X on X, literally promote your own platform on that platform,” Tate wrote. “1,000,000 USD per month. You don’t need other advertisers. Just let me know where to pay @elonmusk.”
It’s not clear that Tate is serious or even has the resources to donate basically $12 million a year to X. However, taken at face value, Tate’s comment that Musk “won’t need any other advertisers” if Tate pays $1 million per month on X is obviously ridiculous.
As of press time, a total of 8 right-wing media figures and groups have pledged $1,627,500 to buy X ads. This includes Tate’s possibly frivolous offer. Also, most of these pledges are over several months, so this amount is not per month.
Compared to the amount X has lost from fleeing advertisers, only Apple is reportedly spending more than 100 million dollars per year on X ads. More broadly, advertising composed 90 percent of the $5.1 billion that then-Twitter made in the year before Musk took over.
Musk already did expressed his appreciation for advertising promises in a post by X. But the truth is that support from these right-wing figures cannot fill the gaping revenue hole left by these big brands and corporations taking their advertising dollars elsewhere after the recent action.