Musk tells boycotting advertisers to ‘go f--- yourself’

X boss accuses Disney and Apple of ‘blackmail’ RK91Ji6GCZ8

Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, says that companies who have joined a growing advertising boycott against the social media platform can “go f--- yourself”.

He said that he did not want those companies to advertise because they were trying to “blackmail” him with money.

“What it’s going to do is it’s going to kill the company, and the whole world will know the advertisers killed the company,” he told a New York Times conference on Wednesday.

Advertisers including Apple, IBM and Disney cancelled their advertising with X, formerly known as Twitter, after Mr Musk was accused of supporting an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

Mr Musk conceded that his post, which was accused of being anti-Semitic, was the “worst and dumbest I’ve ever done”.

On Monday, Mr Musk told Isaac Herzog, Israel’s President, that he would do “everything possible to stop the hate” on X. He claimed he was against anti-Semitism of any kind.

But on Tuesday, the backlash against Mr Musk grew after he boosted a series of tweets referring to “Pizzagate”, which falsely claims that members of the Democratic Party ran a child sex ring out of a Washington DC pizza restaurant.

This caused the Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to join the boycott.

X is believed to have lost over 60pc of its advertisers since Musk took over the company in a $44bn (£35bn) deal on October 27 last year as advertisers have taken fright.

The social media company also appears to be losing favour with its users. On Tuesday, figures were released showing that it had a total UK adult monthly audience of 24 million in May this year, down from 26.8 million at the same time last year, according to media regulator Ofcom.

Mr Musk, the world’s richest person, has seemed to have a Midas touch with some of his other businesses, notably PayPal and Tesla, but observers have questioned whether his investment in Twitter was a distraction at a time when Tesla is facing growing competition, especially from the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD, which is backed by the investor Warren Buffet.

X responded to an email asking for comment with an automated message saying that it was “busy now”.