Advertisers running away from edgy, controversial content on a media platform? We have seen it all before... on TV.
A TV network might look to make content more palatable -- in the hopes of gaining some buzz. Maybe even some new advertisers.
Now think about this week. Did Elon Musk and his X/formerly Twitter platform go further -- with his posted remarks?
First some history.
In 1989, TV advertisers abruptly stopped their media schedule for a new Fox Television Network show -- “Married with Children” because of that show's edgy and somewhat scandalous sexual references.
A Michigan mother named Terry Rakolta said she was offended by some episodes, and she wrote letters to lots of advertisers.
In response, at least a dozen advertisers said they regretted appearing on the program, and advertising was pulled. But it didn't last. Many big brand advertisers, including Coca-Cola, came back a year later.
Around that time, MTV had its own content issues -- especially with its music videos. In 1997, the video "Smack My Bitch Up" by The Prodigy was initially given late-night rotation on MTV's “120 Minutes.”
The video, which was said to have misogynistic lyrics, was eventually pulled completely.
MTV also had content issues with shows “Jackass” and “Beavis and Butt-Head” -- programs that got moved to late nighttime periods.
But for any of this content, did we see MTV or Fox company executives doubling down on issues -- including that of "freedom of speech"?
Recently, Musk said he agreed with a post from a X user that said Jews “have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” He wrote in a post: “You have said the actual truth.”
Then on Sunday, he responded to antisemitic accusations, claiming that “nothing could be further from the truth... I wish only the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all.”
Musk has been known for his seemingly no holds-barred backing of all universal "freedom of speech" content.
So let's take it to an extreme. A year from now, will any hateful, or specifically Nazi-related content -- at the center of some current advertisers backlash -- appear? Hopefully not.
But more importantly, let's think about business issues. Yes, like CPMs -- the cost per thousand viewers/users.
An X spokesperson told CNBC in an email recently that the accounts allegedly posting the hateful content would no longer be monetizable. (Wait a second.. no longer?)
Okay. Well, that's a start.