One of X’s key advertisers, Apple, will pause its advertising on the platform, according to a report from Axios.
Apple follows in the footsteps of advertisers like IBM and the European Commission, who have suspended ads on X amid increased on-platform antisemitism. Per research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, X has failed to moderate hate speech on its platform that promotes antisemitic conspiracies, praises Hitler and dehumanizes Muslims and Palestinians.
But X isn’t just keeping these posts up; its owner, Elon Musk, is fanning the flames of such hatred. In a particularly egregious incident this week, Musk replied, “You have said the actual truth” to a post that echoed the same violent antisemitic conspiracy theory that was espoused by the killer from the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue attack.
Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media watchdog, published a separate report this week, showing how ads from companies like Apple, IBM, Bravo, Oracle and Xfinity have appeared next to posts that praise Nazi ideology.
Linda Yaccarino, X’s new CEO and former advertising executive at NBCUniversal, has attempted to calm advertisers, though her efforts don’t seem to be working in light of recent events.
“X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board — I think that’s something we can and should all agree on,” she wrote on Thursday afternoon. “When it comes to this platform — X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world — it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop.”
X’s advertising business has been volatile since last year, when Elon Musk officially became the owner of the platform formerly known as Twitter. About a month after he took over, Musk tweeted that Apple had “mostly stopped advertising on Twitter.” But after meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the company’s Cupertino headquarters, the two seemed to settle some disagreements. Then, in January, the company inked deals with adtech companies DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) to help advertisers make sure their ad is not placed around inappropriate content, and the appointment of Yaccarino in May was supposed to assuage advertiser’s concerns about the increasingly hostile platform. But Musk continues to dig the platform’s own grave by alienating key revenue drivers.