New Update: High-profile Advertisers Pause Spending On X After Musk Endorsed Antisemitic Post


The platform formerly known as Twitter, X, is facing a major backlash as high-profile advertisers halt their spending after X owner Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic post. The advertisers who have paused their spending on X advertisements include Apple, Disney, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Warner Bros. Discovery, IBM, Paramount Global, Lionsgate, and the European Commission.

Key Takeaway

  • High-profile advertisers, including Apple, Disney, and Comcast, have paused their spending on the platform formerly known as Twitter, X, after X owner Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic post.
  • X has faced criticism for its failure to effectively moderate hate speech and antisemitic conspiracies on the platform.
  • Linda Yaccarino, X’s CEO, has attempted to assuage advertisers’ concerns, but their pause in spending continues.
  • X’s advertising business has been volatile since Elon Musk took ownership, with disagreements and controversies fueling the alienation of key revenue drivers.
  • The White House has condemned the promotion of antisemitic and racist hate on X.

Concerns over Hate Speech Moderation

A recent report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate reveals that X has failed to effectively moderate hate speech on its platform, particularly content that promotes antisemitic conspiracies, praises Hitler, and dehumanizes Muslims and Palestinians. Not only is X keeping these posts up, but its owner, Elon Musk, is exacerbating the situation by amplifying such hatred.

One particularly alarming incident occurred last week when Musk replied, “You have said the actual truth,” to a post that echoed the violent antisemitic conspiracy theory that influenced the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue attack.

Advertisers’ Concerns

Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media watchdog, published a separate report highlighting how ads from companies such as Apple, IBM, Bravo, Oracle, and Xfinity have appeared alongside posts praising Nazi ideology on X. X dismissed the report, claiming it misrepresented the user experience and aimed to undermine freedom of speech. Musk has previously threatened legal action against nonprofit organizations like the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League, alleging that their reports contribute to the strained relationship between X and advertisers.

Linda Yaccarino, X’s new CEO and former advertising executive at NBCUniversal, attempted to reassure advertisers, emphasizing X’s commitment to combatting discrimination and antisemitism. However, her efforts have failed to convince advertisers to resume their spending on the platform.

History of X’s Advertising Business

X’s advertising business has experienced instability since Elon Musk took ownership of the platform. Musk previously claimed that Apple had reduced its advertising on X, but the situation seemed to improve after a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook. X also implemented measures to prevent ads from appearing alongside inappropriate content by partnering with adtech companies DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science. The appointment of Linda Yaccarino was expected to address advertisers’ concerns, but Musk’s endorsement of antisemitic content continues to alienate key revenue drivers.

White House Response

The White House issued a statement condemning the promotion of antisemitic and racist hate on X. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates deemed it unacceptable to perpetuate the “hideous lie” behind the deadliest act of antisemitism in American history, especially just one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust. The statement underlines that such promotion goes against core American values.

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