Many firms pull ads from X over antisemitic content
KELVIN CHAN AND HALELUYA HADERO
Advertisers are fleeing social media platform X over concerns about their ads showing up next to pro-Nazi content and hate speech on the site in general, with billionaire owner Elon Musk inflaming tensions with his own posts endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
IBM, NBC-Universal and its parent company Comcast said they stopped advertising on X after a report said their ads were appearing alongside material praising Nazis — a fresh setback as the platform formerly known as Twitter tries to win back big brands and their ad dollars, X’s main source of revenue.
The liberal advocacy group Media Matters said in a report Thursday that ads from Apple and Oracle also were placed next to antisemitic material on X. On Friday, it said it also found ads from Amazon, NBA Mexico, NBC-Universal and others next to white nationalist hashtags.
“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,” the company said.
Spokespeople for Comcast and NBC-Universal confirmed on Saturday that the companies had “paused” their advertising on X but did not provide additional details on the decision.
The European Union’s executive branch said Friday it was pausing advertising on X and other social media platforms, in part because of a surge in hate speech. Disney, Lionsgate and Paramount Global also said they were suspending or pausing advertising on X.
Musk sparked outcry last week with his own tweets responding to a user who accused Jews of hating white people and professing indifference to antisemitism. “You have said the actual truth,” Musk tweeted in a reply Wednesday.
Musk has faced accusations of tolerating antisemitic messages on the platform since buying it last year, and the content has gained increased scrutiny since the war between Israel and Hamas began.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino said X’s “point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board.”
Liberal advocacy group Media Matters said in a report Thursday that ads from several major companies had appeared on X next to antisemitic or white nationalist material
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited