Apple has reportedly followed IBM by pulling advertising from X, formerly Twitter, as the platform’s owner Elon Musk made posts agreeing with antisemitic conspiracy theories, supporting white pride, and continued a fight with the Anti-Defamation League.
Axios cites unnamed sources in a report that Apple is pausing advertising on X, and the list is growing — later on Friday, the New York Times reported Disney would pause advertising on X, while CNBC noted the same for Warner Bros. Discovery. Paramount and Comcast / NBCUniversal have paused their ads as well, Axios says in a separate report.
The nonprofit Media Matters highlighted his statements yesterday, as well as advertisements from corporations that X placed next to pro-Nazi and pro-Hitler content. When IBM froze its advertising on Thursday, the company issued a statement to The Verge saying it would investigate “this entirely unacceptable situation.”
At least two other organizations have halted ads today, too. Bloomberg reports Lionsgate “has suspended all advertising on X, effective immediately,” and Politico said that the European Commission sent an internal message to leaders noting it has stopped advertising there due to “widespread concerns relating to the spread of disinformation.”
Sources tell The Verge’s Alex Heath that Apple has been one of the largest advertisers on the platform. It routinely purchased ads promoting new products and bought custom “hashflag” emoji animations for high-profile events that would change the reaction of the like button on tagged posts. Elon Musk
In a September interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the company’s continued relationship with X, saying, “there are some things about it I don’t like,” and calling antisemitism abhorrent. He also said that Apple is constantly thinking about the decision to advertise on X but, at that time, gave no hints about plans to stop.
Update November 17th, 8:40PM ET: Added report that Paramount and Comcast / NBCUniversal have paused advertising on X.