Elon Musk claims advertisers are trying to ‘blackmail’ him, says ‘Go f— yourself’

Technology

Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk reacts during an in-conversation event with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, Britain, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. 
Kirsty Wigglesworth | Reuters

Speaking at the 2023 DealBook Summit in New York on Wednesday, Elon Musk, the owner of social media site X (formerly Twitter), scoffed at advertisers boycotting the platform because of because of antisemitic posts he amplified there.

“If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f—yourself.” He added, “Don’t advertise.”

He also implied that fans of his, and of X, would boycott those advertisers in kind. He specifically took aim at Disney.

“The whole world will know that those advertisers killed company and we will document it in great detail,” Musk threatened.

He also told interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin, “I have no problem being hated. Hate away.”

In recent weeks, Musk has promoted and sometimes verbally endorsed what the White House called “antisemitic and racist hate” on X, formerly Twitter, the social media platform he owns and runs as CTO.

He called those tweets, “one of the most foolish if not the most foolish thing I’ve ever done on the platform.”

“I’m sorry for that tweet or post,” he said. He added, “I tried my best to clarify, six ways to Sunday, but you know at least I think over time it will be obvious that in fact, far from being antisemitic, I am in fact philosemitic.”

His inflammatory posts on the social media platform led large advertisers, including Disney, Apple, and many others, to suspend campaigns there, and drove some famous users away from the platform, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has denied that he is antisemitic, and said that on X, “Clear calls for extreme violence are against our terms of service and will result in suspension.”

He also traveled to Israel this week, where he met and spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When Netanyahu said he wanted to “deradicalize” and “rebuild” Gaza, Musk offered to help. Musk told Sorkin on stage that his visit to Israel was planned before his tweets, and were not part of an “apology tour.” Previously, Musk had said he wanted to bring SpaceX satellite communications service to Israel and humanitarian organizations in Gaza.

Musk also clarified that his visit to Israel was planned before his tweets, and were not part of an “apology tour.”

Musk’s personal account on X currently displays a follower count of more than 164 million– though tech blog Mashable reported in August that a majority of Musk’s listed followers appeared to be inauthentic or inactive accounts.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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