Walmart takes Elon up on his offer

Walmart was one of the major brands that didn't announce a "pause" on Twitter when its owner, Elon Musk, described an antisemitic conspiracy theory as "the actual truth" last month. But his tirade directed at advertisers last week was the final straw, and it announced Friday that it had ceased advertising on the platform.

"We are not actively advertising on X. This is not about a specific change to our advertising policies. We've simply decreased spend over time to align with performance," a Walmart spokesperson told CNN late Friday in an updated statement.

"We're constantly optimizing our marketing efforts. These decisions are made in a dynamic market and could change in the future."

Him saying "fuck off" isn't a problem so much as him making clear he doesn't care about providing value. Musk's attitude toward advertising as an undesirable but instrumental source of revenue may qualify for the Onion meme but you don't shove it in their faces like that. It's not his rich kid right-to-play politics that make him a fool, it's that he paid $44bn for a wholly ad-supported enterprise whose basic economics he can't stand.

Previously: Why free-speech platforms all end up moderating content