Apple and Disney stopped their online ads on X (previously Twitter) after Elon Musk, the owner, supported a post accusing “Jewish communities” of promoting “hatred against whites.” Warner Bros Discovery, Paramount Global, and Lions Gate Entertainment are also pausing their campaigns on the same platform.
Comcast, the parent company of Bravo and Xfinity, is also temporarily halting its online ads on the real-time messaging service, as confirmed by a company spokesperson.
Major Companies’ Ads Linked to Controversial Content on X
Media Matters for America, a nonprofit organization, identified Apple in a recent report, along with other major companies like IBM, Bravo, Oracle, and Infinity. The report revealed that their X ads appeared alongside content promoting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
In response, IBM announced on Thursday that it would stop its online ad campaigns on X, stating, “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.”
This week, a coalition of 163 Jewish leaders, activists, and academics from both major political parties issued a statement in response to Elon Musk’s recent behavior. They urged companies like Disney, Apple, and Amazon to stop supporting X through their advertising spending.
The X Out Hate group had initially called on these companies to pause their online ad campaigns on X in September. This was in response to Musk suggesting he might sue the Anti-Defamation League, claiming they were falsely accusing him and the platform of being anti-Semitic.
During that time, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, who also criticized Musk’s recent controversial posts on X, dismissed Musk’s talk of a lawsuit as a “threat of a frivolous lawsuit.”
Call to Action
In their recent statement, the Jewish leaders expressed frustration, stating, “It has been two months since we originally put out our call for large advertisers like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Disney to stop funneling money onto X as antisemitism explodes on the platform.”
Additionally, on Friday, the White House openly criticized Elon Musk for his tweets. White House spokesman Andrew Bates stated that it was “unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of Antisemitism in American history at any time.” Bates seemed to be referring to the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, where 11 people were fatally shot by a gunman who subscribed to the antisemitic “white genocide” conspiracy theory.
On Friday, Musk recognized the advertiser backlash through his X messaging service.
“As I mentioned earlier this week, terms like ‘decolonization,’ ‘from the river to the sea,’ and similar euphemisms inherently suggest genocide,” Musk stated. “Explicit endorsements of extreme violence violate our terms of service and will lead to suspension.”
Greenblatt, in an X post, responded, saying, “This is a significant and positive step by @elonmusk. I value this leadership in combating hate.”
Major companies like Apple, Disney, Warner Bros Discovery, and others are pausing online ads on X following Elon Musk’s controversial statements. IBM has halted its campaigns, denouncing hate speech. A coalition of Jewish leaders urges companies to stop funding X. The White House criticizes Musk’s tweets. Musk acknowledges the backlash, vowing to suspend explicit endorsements of violence. Greenblatt appreciates Musk’s anti-hate leadership.