Disney and other companies stop advertising on X after Elon Musk backs antisemitic post

Monday, November 20, 2023
Disney and other companies stop advertising on X
A growing list of companies, including Disney, said they have suspended advertising on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

A growing list of companies said they have suspended advertising on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

On Friday, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns CNN, confirmed that they both halted ad spending on the platform.

The decision by two of the world's most prominent film and television companies suggests an intensifying advertiser backlash to X after the social media platform's owner, Elon Musk, embraced an antisemitic conspiracy theory popular among White supremacists.

Disney and Warner Bros.' advertising pauses follow similar moves by Lionsgate and IBM.

A Lionsgate spokesperson who confirmed the company's decision to CNN did not disclose a specific reason for the move and did not specify how much money Lionsgate had planned to spend advertising on X. Lionsgate's decision was first reported by Bloomberg.

IBM's ads were found appearing alongside pro-Nazi content on the platform. In a statement, IBM explicitly called out what it described as an "entirely unacceptable situation."

"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," an IBM spokesperson said.

CNN has reached out to X for comment.

Amid the pullback, X reportedly lost one of its most visible advertisers: Apple. The iPhone maker also pulled its advertising from the social media platform, according to multiple news outlets, including Axios, which first reported Apple's withdrawal.

Apple did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In a social media post on Friday, X CEO Linda Yaccarino wrote that "X has been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There's absolutely no place for it anywhere in the world."

"At risk of stating the obvious, anyone advocating the genocide of *any* group will be suspended from this platform," Musk wrote on X Friday evening.

An analysis by the watchdog group Media Matters found this week that in addition to IBM, ads by Apple, Comcast, NBC and Oracle had appeared alongside similar content.

Spokespersons for Comcast, NBCU and Oracle have not responded to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for X said the pro-Nazi accounts identified in Thursday's Media Matters report would no longer be eligible for monetization, meaning ads would no longer be run on those pages.

In August, two other brands, NCTA - the Internet and Television Association - and Gilead Sciences paused their spending on X after their ads were also run alongside pro-Nazi content.

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