The exodus from X is reaching beyond major advertisers
In recent days, several prominent media brands have not only paused their paid marketing campaigns on the Elon Musk-owned social platform, but have stopped posting on it altogether, going silent on the once-essential site that sought to be the “digital plaza” of the world.
Flagship accounts for Disney, Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. Discovery (CNN’s parent company) have not posted on the platform in about 10 days, following Musk’s disturbing endorsement of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, for which he still has not apologized.
Neither studio commented when requested by CNN. But people familiar with Paramount and WBD’s social media strategies confirmed on condition of anonymity that it’s no coincidence: The companies made an active decision to stop posting under certain handles on X due to concerns, including brand safety.
The blocking of X extends beyond the corporate accounts of these companies, in some cases. For example, the highest-profile Disney-affiliated accounts stopped working on X. Instead, these brands moved to rival Threads, owned by Meta, where they began actively publishing.
For example, when “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” shared the news Monday that host Stephen Colbert would be off the air this week due to appendicitis, the show did so on Threads. However, before Musk endorsed an anti-Semitic post, Colbert’s show was primarily active on X, posting videos and other content regularly. Now, the opposite occurs.
When CNN contacted a representative for X for comment Monday, he did not directly respond to questions about the media giants losing the platform, which must be ringing alarm bells within the social media company. It’s bad enough for a struggling company to run out of advertising revenue. It’s even worse if it also lacks content, particularly from domestic entities that have helped make the platform the center of real-time discussion for years.
It is, of course, possible that these companies will change course in the future and resume publishing and even advertising on the platform. It would not be the first time this has happened after advertisers flee en masse from a medium. But it’s also possible that that won’t happen.
With Musk at the helm of the platform for the foreseeable future, overseeing critical decisions that led to a rise in hate speech (while also personally contributing to the terrible rhetoric), the risk versus reward calculus of whether or not to engage with The company has fallen into a tailspin. The situation is no different than when Tucker Carlson permanently chased away most advertisers from Fox News’ 8 pm hour during his time at the network.
And if more companies and other notable figures abandon Musk’s platform for other social networks, it will extinguish the appeal it once had, providing yet another reason for average users to abandon the troubled platform.
“Every day, more brands wake up to the reality that Twitter is dead and X is a cesspool,” said Platformer’s Casey Newton. “The world square is now dispersed across many different platforms, and increasingly the most relevant conversations are taking place elsewhere.”