Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy, and he seems to have kicked it up a notch since he took over Twitter − which he renamed X − late last year. But a recent endorsement (for which he subsequently apologized) of an antisemitic post on the platform seems to have been the final straw for many of X’s big advertisers.

Names like Apple and Disney have suspended ad spend on the platform in recent weeks, but rather than engaging positively − as recommended by Cardiff University marketing and strategy expert Denitsa Dineva − Musk chose to tell these companies where to go during a high-profile New York Times interview. He even called out “Bob” Iger, Disney’s recently returned chief executive officer, personally.

There are ways to manage “online firestorms,” according to Dineva − and unsurprisingly, none involve using profanities or being rude to major advertisers in public. Musk has suggested people will blame the brands if X collapses, but read her article to find out what Dineva believes could really bring the company down.

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Pauline McCallion

Senior Business Editor, The Conversation U.K.

Apple, Disney and other big brands are pulling X ads – why Elon Musk’s latest ‘firestorm’ could bring down the company

Denitsa Dineva, Cardiff University

Research explains how to handle the kind of online ‘firestorm’ that X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk is currently experiencing.

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