Advertisers including Apple, Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Comcast/NBCUniversal are pulling out of social media platform X over the tech company’s placing their promotional material next to pro-Nazi posts, and as the platform’s owner Elon Musk openly supported anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Musk wrote Wednesday that a tweet accusing Jews of hating white people was “the actual truth”. The White House condemned Musk’s statements Friday morning, lambasting them as “abhorrent”. A coalition of more than 150 rabbis had called for Apple, Disney, Amazon, Oracle and others to stop advertising on the social network in response to Musk’s tweets.
The iPhone maker had been one of the social network’s biggest advertisers, spending as much as $100m a year there as of November 2022. Researchers have documented a disturbing rise in antisemitic and racist posts on the social network in the aftermath of his disastrous acquisition as well.
Musk picked a fight with Apple in December 2022 as the company decreased its advertising, wondering online whether CEO Tim Cook and his employees “hate free speech in America”. He tweeted a meme about “going to war” with Apple at the time but deleted it. Cook invited Musk to Apple’s corporate headquarters not long after, and the two seemed to reach a detente.
Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X in an attempted to do damage control for her boss, wrote “X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board.”