X CEO Linda Yaccarino sought to reassure employees at the social media company that it was committed to fighting antisemitism while denouncing a liberal watchdog for its “misleading” and “deceptive attacks.”
Yaccarino sent a note to employees following a tumultuous weekend in which the company formerly known as Twitter lost several major advertisers including IBM and Comcast.
“While some advertisers may have temporarily paused investments because of a misleading and manipulated article, the data will tell the real story,” Yaccarino wrote in her note to employees.
“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.”
The advertiser exodus started after media watchdog group Media Matters said Thursday it had found that ads for major brands had appeared next to posts that touted Nazism.
X pushed back on the claims, accusing Media Matters of “manipulating” the platform servers in order to make it appear as if the ads appeared organically next to the racist content.
“On one side, there’s a vocal minority trying to use deceptive attacks to undermine our work,” Yaccarino wrote in her memo to employees on Sunday. “But on the other side, there are vocal supporters and courageous partners who believe in X and the meaningful work you are all doing.”
Yaccarino’s boss, X owner Elon Musk, appeared to endorse an antisemitic post last week accusing Jews of supporting the migration of “hordes of minorities” to the West. Musk, who was blasted by the White House, has denied that he is antisemitic.
Over the weekend, Musk threatened to wage a “thermonuclear” legal battle against Media Matters. On Monday, he denounced Media Matters as “pure evil,” and X Corp. sued for defamation.
In a response on Monday, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone, said, “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. Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified.”
Musk was supported by prominent figures such as SiriusXM broadcaster Megyn Kelly as well as other right-leaning personalities who pledged to advertise on X to support the platform.
“The vile, disgusting, dishonest Media Matters is trying to take down X and Elon Musk,” Kelly, the host of SiriusXM’s “The Megyn Kelly Show,” wrote on her X page on Saturday.
Kelly accused Media Matters of a “hit job” against Musk, writing: “They cannot STAND the existence of even one platform that the hard left does not control.”
She added: “It’s important that X survive.”
Bill Ackman, the billionaire hedge fund manager, also came to Musk’s defense over the weekend, writing that the X owner “is not an antisemite.”
“It is remarkable how quickly the world stands ready to attack Musk for his shoot from the hip commentary,” Ackman wrote.
The controversy comes amid a surge in antisemitism in many countries, including the United States, since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on southern Israel and the subsequent bombardment and invasion of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military.
After buying Twitter in October 2022 for $44 billion, Musk laid off thousands of employees, including many who worked to moderate content on the platform.