June 23, 2024


Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X Holdings Corp., speaks at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel,on May 6, 2024.

Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X Holdings Corp., speaks at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel,on May 6, 2024.
Photo: Apu Gomes (Getty Images)

When Elon Musk bought Twitter and turned it into X, the platform and its owner faced a lot of scrutiny. Musk whittled down the social network’s staff to a skeleton crew, and big-name advertisers fled as X saw an onslaught of content flagged for misinformation and disinformation, racism, transphobia, and antisemitism.

Musk’s own attempts to respond to the backlash went poorly. The site’s owner told fleeing advertisers at a New York Times Dealbook Summit in 2023, “Go F–– Yourself,” and accused them on X of “blackmail.” And now, the one person equipped to handle such PR disasters at the company — literally X’s de facto spokesperson — Joe Benarroch, has resigned, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Benarroch was head of business operations, a role that included overseeing the company’s corporate communications, which had otherwise been dismantled by Musk, the Journal wrote.

Bloomberg reporter Kurt Wagner noted that Benarroch was not only Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino’s “right-hand” but also the “only person at X…who gave comments to the press and handled PR.” Often, X responds to journalists’ requests for comment with poop emojis.

The resignation calls into question how one of the most widely-used social media platforms governed by one of the world’s wealthiest people will be held to account, given that press inquiries are a significant fascet of probing corporations over their actions.

No details were given about the nature of Benarroch’s resignation, and X, unsurprisingly, did not respond to Quartz’s request for comment nor its questions about how the company will handle press inquiries moving forward. The company responded to The Journal’s questions in an email stating, “Busy now, please check back later.”

Twitter — which went private when Musk purchased it in 2022 for $44 billion — has seen its value plummet more than 70% since Musk’s takeover.



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