Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of social media platform X, is standing by her boss after he told advertisers who are getting the vapors over free speech that they can stay away, as far as he is concerned.
During Wednesday’s New York Times DealBook Summit, X chief and Tesla founder Elon Musk responded to the woke advertisers pulling their ads after he commented on an anti-Semitic post.
Musk insisted that he does not care if these advertisers do quit his platform. “I hope they stop. Don’t advertise,” he said, according to a video posted to X.
The host of the talk, Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, quickly asked, “You don’t want them to advertise?”
Musk was direct in his reply, simply saying, “No.”
WARNING: The following conversation and related video contain language that some may find offensive.
“If someone is going to try to blackmail me with advertising — blackmail me with money — go f*** yourself. Go. F***. Yourself,” Musk exclaimed.
BREAKING: Elon Musk to advertisers trying to blackmail 𝕏 into censorship: “Go f*ck yourself.” pic.twitter.com/cfH3ThOXNh
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) November 29, 2023
Musk went on to direct his comments right to Disney CEO Bob Iger, whose company was one of the more recent ones to pause advertising on X.
“Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey, Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel. Don’t advertise,” Musk exclaimed addressing the Disney chief.
Still, even as he was defiant about the disgruntled advertisers, Musk also worried about the boycott. “What this advertising boycott is going to do, it’s going to kill the company,” he said.
Musk added, “The whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail.”
Musk was called on the carpet for seeming to support an X post that accused Jewish communities of “hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them,” the New York Times reported.
Musk admitted that replying to he should not have replied to the post and added, “should have written in greater length what I meant.”
“I handed a loaded gun to those who hate me and, arguably, to those who are anti-Semitic and for that, I am quite sorry,” Musk said. “That was not my intention.”
On the tail of all that, Musk’s hand-picked CEO, Linda Yaccarino, stuck by her boss and said that X is “enabling information independence” by supporting free speech.
“Today, Elon Musk gave a wide ranging and candid interview at [DealBook 2023]. He also offered an apology, an explanation and an explicit point of view about our position,” Yaccarino said in a Wednesday X post.
“X is enabling an information independence that’s uncomfortable for some people. We’re a platform that allows people to make their own decisions,” she added.
“And here’s my perspective when it comes to advertising: X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you. To our partners who believe in our meaningful work — Thank You,” she wrote.
Today @elonmusk gave a wide ranging and candid interview at @dealbook 2023. He also offered an apology, an explanation and an explicit point of view about our position. X is enabling an information independence that’s uncomfortable for some people. We’re a platform that allows… https://t.co/PSmSKRkJSq
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayaX) November 30, 2023
Some worried that Yaccarino would be a troublesome addition to the social media platform. When Musk first introduced Yaccarino, many pointed with alarm to her past association with the World Economic Forum.
Some also feared that some of her past comments presaged that she would be pro-censorship.
Perhaps this incident shows that she is fully on board with Musk’s dedication to free speech?
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.