IBM pulls X ads after Elon Musk makes inflammatory comments on white pride

Last updated: November 16, 2023 at 5:29 pm ET

First published: November 16, 2023 at 5:02 p.m. ET

IBM Corp. IBM abruptly pulled ads from X, formerly Twitter, amid a maelstrom of controversial comments from billionaire owner Elon Musk and IBM ad placements.

“IBM does not tolerate hate speech or discrimination and we have immediately stopped all advertising on X while we investigate this completely unacceptable situation,” the company said in an emailed statement to MarketWatch.

IBM…

IBM Corp. IBM abruptly pulled ads from X, formerly Twitter, amid a maelstrom of controversial comments from billionaire owner Elon Musk and IBM ad placements.

“IBM does not tolerate hate speech or discrimination and we have immediately stopped all advertising on X while we investigate this completely unacceptable situation,” the company said in an emailed statement to MarketWatch.

IBM stopped advertising after the Financial Times reported Thursday that IBM ads appeared alongside posts supporting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. A Media Matters study also found that ads from Apple Inc. AAPL, Oracle Corp. ORCL and CMCSA Xfinity and Bravo from Comcast Corp. alongside pro-Nazi content.

On Wednesday, Musk agreed with a post on X that supported an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jewish people have a “dialectical hatred” of white people. “You told the actual truth,” Musk wrote in response to the post.

To make matters worse, Musk quit on Thursday

Adding fuel to the fire, Musk said Wednesday that the Jewish advocacy group Anti-Defamation League “unfairly attacks the majority of the West, even though the majority of the West supports the Jewish people and Israel.” (Musk has threatened to kill the ADL to sue X for their criticism of lax moderation practices that allegedly enabled the spread of anti-Semitism.)

The cascading conflagration prompted Tesla Inc. TSLA

Bull and investment advisor Ross Gerber grumbles about What is he doing with the Tesla brand??!!?!?”

An X executive told MarketWatch that the company conducted a “search” of the accounts adjacent to the IBM ads. These accounts “are no longer monetizable” and certain posts are marked as “sensitive media.”

The executive said 99% of measured ad placements on

Late Thursday, Linda Yaccarino, executive director of X, also tweeted our efforts to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination. There is no place for it anywhere in the world – it is ugly and wrong. Point.”

The posts and ad placement come amid a wave of anti-Semitism in digital forums like X and a decline in advertising on the platform related to hate speech and misinformation. Musk said in July that advertising revenue had fallen by about 50%.

The latest turmoil is likely to complicate the efforts of Yaccarino, who was hired from Comcast Corp.’s CMCSA NBCUniversal in June. was hired to convince advertising agencies and major brands to stay on or build relationships with the platform, now known as X.

Tesla shares fell nearly 4% on Thursday, but are still up about 90% so far in 2023.


Posted

in

by