Title: NFL Remains Committed to Partnership with Controversial X Platform despite Advertiser Backlash
The National Football League (NFL) announced today that it will continue its partnership with X (formerly known as Twitter), despite the platform facing a recent advertiser revolt over hate speech and antisemitism. Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s media and business chief, acknowledged the difficulties of content moderation but stated that the league will continue working with X due to the presence of its fans on the platform.
The NFL has been working closely with X since 2013 to provide fans with exclusive content, including behind-the-scenes footage, player interviews, and game highlights. However, since Elon Musk took over as CEO of X, the platform has been embroiled in numerous controversies surrounding its policy for moderating harmful content.
Several major companies, including Apple and Disney, have suspended their advertising on the platform in response to the recent wave of pushback. The controversy escalated when Musk agreed with a post on X that accused “Jewish communities” of promoting “hatred against whites,” drawing widespread criticism and allegations of antisemitism.
MediaMatters.org, a left-leaning media watchdog site, further stoked the fire by posting instances of ads from Apple, Bravo, and Oracle appearing next to antisemitic content on X. In response, X has sued MediaMatters.org over the report, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into the watchdog site for possible fraudulent activity.
In addition to the backlash from advertisers, over two dozen House Democrats have accused X of profiting from violent Hamas-related content. They have called on CEO Linda Yaccarino to explain the company’s plans to address the harmful content on the platform.
It’s worth noting that the parent company of Bravo and CNBC is NBCUniversal, which is not directly involved in the current controversy surrounding X. However, this connection highlights the growing concerns within the industry and the broader implications of the platform’s content moderation policies.
The NFL’s decision to maintain its partnership with X comes at a time when companies across various sectors are reassessing their association with the platform. Brian Rolapp’s acknowledgment of the difficulties associated with content moderation reflects the broader challenges faced by social media platforms in striking a balance between protecting free speech and eliminating harmful content.
As the debates surrounding X’s content moderation continue, it remains to be seen how advertisers, lawmakers, and users will react, and whether this controversy will have a lasting impact on the platform’s popularity and partnerships.