Disney, Apple, IBM pull ads from X after antisemitic comment from Elon Musk

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Saturday, November 18, 2023
Disney, Apple, IBM pull ads from X
X's top advertisers Disney, Apple IBM, and Lionsgate are pulling ads from the platform after an anti-Semitic tweet from Elon Musk.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- X's top advertisers Disney, Apple, IBM, and Lionsgate announced they are pulling all advertisements from the platform due to hate speech and antisemitic rhetoric shared on the platform - including from Elon Musk.

Since Musk took over X, antisemitism on the platform has risen.

A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League found it is up nearly a thousand percent since early October.

RELATED: Elon Musk says Twitter has 'negative cash flow' and 'heavy debt'

Now Musk is under fire, for sharing his own damaging comment calling a post about an anti-Semitic concept known as "the great replacement theory" as "the actual truth."

"This idea that Jews are responsible for replacing white people in this country with Brown and Black people," Jewish Community Relations Council of the Bay Area CEO Tyler Gregory said. "It's the same theory that the tiki torch-bearing white supremacists talked about when they said Jews do not replace us in Charlottesville. So, it's abominable that he would tap into those kinds of sentiments and give people permission to take those views."

The post was shared on Nov. 15 and Friday several major companies announced they pulled advertisements from X.

This includes Disney, Lionsgate and Apple and the first domino to fall, IBM, who said in a statement: "IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination and we have immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this entirely unacceptable situation."

RELATED: What Musk's rebranding of Twitter to X could mean for future of his companies

Elon Musk's rebranding of Twitter to X could be part of a broader ecosystem within the other technologies he's been working on.

"What I hear is a sort of unsustainable loss in revenue. Because they're not just any big name advertiser, they're also big spenders," Media Matters President, CEO Angelo Carusone said. "Both Apple and IBM are in the top five. They are disproportionately responsible for a large chunk of Twitter's revenue."

Carusone says it's not just Musk's post that led to the loss of advertisements, but also ad placement.

Media Matters investigated X's ad placement, finding these major companies had content shared next to content with white nationalist hashtags, even though they were promised otherwise.

Carusone believes these advertising companies leaving is hurting X's brand-safe image. And while it will be slow, he anticipates more users and advertisers leave the platform going forward.

"In a way, we have a need and an appetite for users to leave," Carusone said. "There's alternatives now where people have planted their roots and there's examples where we see it's finally time where you can leave and survive. So, I do think the exodus will continue."

We reached out, but X did not respond to our request for comment.

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