Apple ‘Constantly’ Evaluating Advertising Spend On Elon Musk’s X

Apple chief executive Tim Cook at WWDC 2020. Image credit: Apple

CEO Tim Cook says Apple is ‘constantly’ evaluating its decision to advertise on Elon Musk’s X, amid antisemitism row

Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) does not seem to have shaken off the ongoing row about antisemitic content on the platform.

CNBC reported CEO Tim Cook at the weekend as saying Apple is constantly evaluating whether it’s appropriate for it to continue advertising on X.

It comes after last week the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) non-profit accused X of failing to remove posts containing “extreme hate”, despite being notified.

twitter X logo
Image credit: Elon Musk/X/Twitter

Antisemitism row

“It’s something we constantly ask ourselves,” Cook was quoted as saying in an interview with CBS’ “Sunday Morning” that aired on Sunday.

Apple’s Tim Cook reportedly added he views X, formerly known as Twitter, as an “important property” for discourse but that there’s aspects that he doesn’t agree with, such as promotion of antisemitism on the platform.

“Just point blank, there is no place for it,” he said.

Cook’s comments come as Musk is slated to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, who is expected to confront Musk about the escalating concerns about antisemitism on X.

Musk in a post denied the talks would be about antisemitism, but rather will focus on artificial intelligence.

Ongoing row

This row about hate speech and antisemitic content on X since Elon Musk took over has been ongoing for a while now.

Last month X Corp followed through on its legal threat and sued CCDH, accusing it of false claims and spooking advertisers.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate in turn accused Elon Musk’s company of intimidation and said its allegations had no basis in fact.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino in August had publicly affirmed the company’s commitment to brand safety for advertisers, when she confirmed that the Elon Musk firm was close to break even.

But two major brand names recently confirmed they will suspend advertising on X after their ads appeared alongside an account which has shared content celebrating Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Last month Elon Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), citing the impact on Twitter’s advertising revenue.

Musk in a series of tweets accused the ADL of “trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being antisemitic”, and he threatened to sue the campaign group over the matter.

New York-based Anti-Defamation League is an international Jewish non-governmental organisation that specialises in civil rights law and combats antisemitism and extremism.

It had alleged that antisemitic posts on X increased sharply after Musk bought the site in October 2022, and the platform subsequently reinstated extremists and conspiracy theorists, while allowing the harassment of former members of its now-dissolved trust and safety council.

But Musk blamed the ADL for Twitter’s advertising woes and threatened to sue the group.

Musk then offered an insight into the advertising problem at Twitter, revealing that advertising sales for the business were down 60 percent.

Meanwhile the Auschwitz Memorial, which preserves the death camp set up by the Nazis during World War Two, criticised X in August for failing to remove an antisemitic post on the site.

The Auschwitz Memorial tweeted a reply from Twitter, which said that after reviewing an account’s a blatantly anti-Semitic tweet, that the content did not violate its rules.

X/Twitter later suspended the account.