IBM Pulls Advertising From X/Twitter, Amid Nazi Content Row

Tech veteran IBM has suspended advertising on Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter), after a report found its adverts appearing next to content that praised Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party

And to make matters worse, Media Matters for America, also found adverts from Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), Oracle, and Xfinity (Comcast) appearing alongside such content.

It comes as Elon Musk continued to court controversy this week, when on Wednesday he seemed to endorse a blatantly anti-semitic conspiracy theory.

Image credit: SpaceX

Musk controversy

The antisemitic post Musk appeared to endorse came in response to a user on X, who tweeted his concern about rising antisemitism.

“To the cowards hiding behind the anonymity of the internet and posting ‘Hitler was right’: You got something you want to say?” the initial user, Charles Weber (who identified as a “Jewish Conservative” in the bio), tweeted. “Why dont you say it to our faces.”

Another user, @breakingbaht, responded, suggesting antisemitism was carried out by minorities and claimed the Jews were to blame.

“Okay. Jewish [communities] have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them,” the @breakingbaht post read.

“I’m deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest shit now about western Jewish populations coming to the disturbing realisation that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much,” the user continued, adding, “You want truth said to your face, there it is.”

Musk replied: “You have said the actual truth.”

IBM ad suspension

Into this fresh row about Elon Musk and anti-semitic content on his platform, comes the news that IBM is pulling is advertising from X.

The left-leaning watchdog Media Matters for America said it found ads bought by IBM, Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), Oracle, and Xfinity (Comcast) next to posts including Hitler quotes, praise of Nazis and Holocaust denial.

The Media Matters for America report also included multiple screenshots, to back up its claims.

IBM released the following statement to the Financial Times about the mater.

“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,” the tech veteran said.

Meanwhile X reportedly told the BBC that ads are not deliberately placed next to extremist content, that the Nazi-promoting accounts will not earn money from advertising and that specific posts will be labelled “sensitive media”.

“X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board – I think that’s something we can and should all agree on,” Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino tweeted on Thursday.

“X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat anti-semitism and discrimination,” she added. “There’s no place for it anywhere in the world – it’s ugly and wrong.”

Trolls, Lunatics

Earlier this week Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales said X was ‘overrun By Trolls, Lunatics’ and that people are fleeing the platform.

“I think a lot of people are fleeing Twitter, a lot of thoughtful and serious people are fleeing Twitter,” Wales told CNBC.

“Twitter was, and now I guess X sort of is, in a way, the default public square for the world. And if it’s being overrun by trolls and lunatics, it’s not good for any of us,” Wales added.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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