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Major Brands Pause Advertising on X Following Concerns Over Antisemitic Content

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Major advertisers are withdrawing their ads from X in response to a growing backlash against antisemitic content on the platform. Apple, Disney, Lionsgate, and Warner Brothers Discovery have reportedly suspended their ads, following X owner Elon Musk’s apparent public endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Paramount Global also halted its ads, joining IBM, which confirmed its suspension as it investigates ads for its Watson division appearing alongside pro-Nazi content. The move follows a report by watchdog group Media Matters, which found similar content adjacent to ads for Apple, Oracle, and other tech companies.

An executive at X clarified that the posts highlighted by Media Matters were no longer monetizable, emphasizing that the platform does not intentionally place brands next to such content. X CEO Linda Yaccarino reiterated the company’s commitment to combating antisemitism and discrimination.

Concerns about hate speech on X have long troubled advertisers, and the departure of major players like Apple, Disney, Lionsgate, and IBM deals a significant blow to the platform’s already struggling ad business. The recent tweet from Musk, expressing agreement with an account promoting an antisemitic conspiracy theory, appears to be a catalyst for more advertisers temporarily pulling back. Apple, reportedly opting to “pause” all advertising on the platform, has not clarified whether the decision was influenced by Musk’s tweet, Media Matters’ report, or both.

This development echoes previous concerns raised by Apple CEO Tim Cook in September, where he stated the company was constantly evaluating whether to continue advertising on X. Apple had briefly paused ads on X (then Twitter) last year amid a “misunderstanding” between the two CEOs.

The current advertiser exodus occurs a year after civil rights groups called for an advertiser boycott following Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Concerns about rising hate speech and relaxed content moderation policies under Musk’s leadership persisted, and despite some major advertisers returning to the platform, Twitter’s ad business did not fully recover. Musk acknowledged over the summer that the company’s ad revenue had declined by more than 50 percent.

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