Elon Musk has become embroiled in multiple controversies this week
Elon Musk has lost IBM, one of the biggest name advertisers on X/Twitter, after a report that the social media platform ran the tech giant’s adverts alongside pro-Nazi material.
Non-profit Media Matters put out a report on Thursday saying it had found adverts from brands including IBM, Apple and Oracle next to content that “touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party”.
IBM said in a statement: “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.”
The withdrawal adds to a growing storm around X owner Musk, who was criticised earlier this week for calling an antisemitic conspiracy theory “actual truth” when replying to a post on the platform.
Musk has relaxed moderation policies and cut staff involved with safety on the platform since his $44bn acquisition closed last year. Many brands have already pulled their advertising as a result. Musk said in July that ad revenues fell about 50 per cent.
Chief executive Linda Yaccarino posted on the platform: “X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board – I think that's something we can and should all agree on.
“X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world – it’s ugly and wrong.”
Meanwhile, Musk was embroiled in another controversy on Wednesday when he responded affirmatively to a tweet that accused Jewish communities of “hatred against whites”.
Media Matters said the tweet, which was seen by more than 5 million people, was an endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory known as “white genocide”.
The theory argues that Jews actively plot to encourage immigration of “non-white” people to Western countries with the aim of creating demographic change so as to “eliminate” the white race.
The X owner denied he is antisemitic and said his comments referred to groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish nonprofit, and other unspecified “Jewish communities”, not all Jews.
In response to Musk’s tweet, ADL chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt posted: “At a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world, it is indisputably dangerous to use one's influence to validate and promote antisemitic theories.”