IBM Suspends Advertising On X After Ads Appear Near Pro-Nazi Posts


International Business Machines Corp.—or IBM—paused its advertising on X, formerly known as Twitter, after reports that the company’s ads were being placed near antisemitic, pro-Nazi posts, in the latest advertising blow to the Elon Musk-owned social media platform.

Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media watchdog group, released a report Thursday that showed ads for Apple, Xfinity, Oracle and IBM appearing under posts praising Adolf Hitler and denying the Holocaust.

IBM told Forbes it “has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination” and “immediately suspended all advertising on X.”

Forbes has also reached out to Xfinity, Oracle and Apple for comment.

Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, said in a post Thursday afternoon: “X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board,” adding that X has “been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination.”

News of major companies’ ads being placed near pro-Nazi posts came as Musk was under fire for tweeting support for an antisemitic conspiracy theory. On Wednesday, Musk responded to a post on X accusing Jewish people of “pushing … dialectical hatred against whites,” saying “You have said the actual truth.” Musk has been accused of pushing antisemitic rhetoric in the past. He has been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for his posts comparing George Soros to Magneto, a Jewish villain from Marvel’s X-Men series. After the incident with Soros, Musk denied that he was antisemitic, saying he was “a pro-semite, if anything,” before adding that he will continue to voice his often controversial opinions on the platform.

Since Musk purchased the social media company last October, it has struggled to maintain advertisers at the levels it did when it was Twitter. In the weeks after Musk bought Twitter, antisemitic posts and posts with hate speech increased drastically, according to researchers. Advertisers fled the platform after Musk’s acquisition—and his statement that he wanted “freedom of speech” to be “paramount,” suggesting loosened moderation policies—leading to a 55% decline in ad revenue year-over-year since last October, according to Reuters. Yaccarino has since said most of the platform’s largest advertisers returned, but another Media Matters report found many of them were spending way less. Yaccarino cited Visa as a returning customer, for example, but Media Matters found it had spent just $10 over a 12-week period, compared to roughly $77,500 in the 12-week period before Musk owned the platform.

Forbes estimates that Musk is worth $240.7 billion as of Thursday evening, making him the richest person in the world.

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