Nov 20, 2023 - Business

X CEO defends company amid fallout from Elon Musk's posts

Linda Yaccarino, CEO, X/Twitter speaks onstage during Vox Media's 2023 Code Conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel on September 27, 2023 in Dana Point, California.

Linda Yaccarino. Photo: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media

X CEO Linda Yaccarino is defending the social media company despite marketing leaders pushing for her to resign, while ignoring their key complaint on Elon Musk's conduct.

Driving the news: Yaccarino on Monday expressed her commitment to X in a post on the platform.

  • "When you're this consequential, there will be detractors and fabricated distractions, but we're unwavering in our mission," her post stated. "Thank you for standing with us!"
  • The public comments echo a note she sent to X employees on Sunday evening. In that memo, Yaccarino downplayed a report that found ads from big corporations running next to pro-Nazi content as "misleading" and "manipulated."
  • "[T]he data will tell the real story," the memo read. "Because for all of us who work at X, we've been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination, as there's no place for it anywhere in the world."

Catch up quick: Musk backed an antisemitic conspiracy theory last Wednesday. The next day, left-leaning nonprofit Media Matters for America published a report that found ads from Apple, Bravo, Oracle, Xfinity and IBM appeared next to pro-Nazi content on X.

State of play: Musk has threatened legal action. On Friday, he said he would file a "thermonuclear lawsuit" against Media Matters and those "who colluded in this fraudulent attack" against his company.

  • Musk also denounced the claims that he is antisemitic in a post on X on Sunday. "I wish only the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all," he said.
  • X did not respond on Monday to requests for comment from Axios.

The other side: "Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate," Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said in a statement.

  • "Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified," Carusone added. "If he does sue us, we will win."
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