Apple halts X advertising after Musk lauds antisemitic conspiracy theory

One of X’s key advertisers, Apple, will stop advertising on the platform, according to a report from Axios.

Apple is following in the footsteps of advertisers as well IBM and the European Commission, which suspended X ads amid increasing on-platform antisemitism. According to research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, X has failed to moderate hate speech on its platform that promotes antisemitic conspiracies, praises Hitler and denigrates Muslims and Palestinians.

But X doesn’t just save these posts; its owner, Elon Musk, is fueling the flames of that hatred. In a particularly egregious incident this week, Musk responded, “You’re telling the real truth” to a post echoing the same violent antisemitic conspiracy theory the killer espoused from 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue attack.

Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media watchdog, published a separate report this weekwhich shows how ads from companies like Apple, IBM, Bravo, Oracle and Xfinity appear next to posts praising Nazi ideology.

Linda Yaccarino, the new CEO of X and former advertising executive at NBCUniversal, tried to calm advertisers, although her efforts did not seem to work due to recent events.

“X’s point of view has always been very clear that individual discrimination should be ENDED across the board – I think that’s something we can and should all agree on,” he wrote on Thursday in afternoon. “When it comes to this platform – X is also clear about our efforts to fight antisemitism and discrimination. There is no place for this anywhere in the world – it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop.”

X’s advertising business has been changing since last year, when Elon Musk officially became the owner of the platform formerly known as Twitter. About a month after he took over, Musk tweeted that Apple had “mostly stopped advertising on Twitter.” But afterwards met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the company’s Cupertino headquarters, the two seem to be settling some disagreements. Then, in January, the company signed deals with adtech companies DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) to help advertisers ensure their ad isn’t placed on inappropriate content, and the appointment of Yaccarino in May to assuage advertiser concerns about the increasingly adversarial platform. But Musk continues to dig his own platform grave by moving away from key revenue drivers.

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