IBM has pulled its advertising presence from X, formerly Twitter, as Elon Musk continues to endorse far-right talking points — agreeing with posts this week that promoted antisemitism and pushed support for white pride. The nonprofit Media Matters drew attention to those statements and noted that IBM, Apple, Comcast, and other companies all had ads placed next to pro-Nazi and pro-Hitler content (not posted by Musk) on X. IBM told the Financial Times and confirmed to The Verge that “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.”
On the platform today, Musk called it “super messed up” that white people are not, in the words of one far-right poster’s tweet, “allowed to be proud of their race.” The white pride support came a day after Musk agreed with an antisemitic post claiming that Jewish communities have stoked “hatred against whites.” Musk told another user that “You have said the actual truth” after the person wrote that they are “deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest shit now about western Jewish populations” facing “hordes of minorities that support flooding their country.” The Atlantic wrote that Musk’s tweets echoed the “deadliest anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in recent American history” by pushing the idea that there is a “unified Jewish agenda.”
Musk later focused in on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a nonprofit focused on fighting antisemitism, saying that the group “unjustly attacks the majority of the West” (a category Musk left undefined) because it cannot “criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat.” Musk previously threatened to sue the ADL because of the nonprofit’s criticism of lax moderation practices on X that allowed antisemitism to spread.
He never sued, but he clearly hasn’t dropped the grudge — and if anything, he’s broadened its scope. When another X user pushed Musk to clarify that his complaint is with the ADL and not Jewish communities in general, Musk responded that it “does not extend to all Jewish communities, but it is also not just limited to ADL.” He posted that he opposed the ADL and “any other groups who push de facto anti-white racism or anti-Asian racism or racism of any kind.”
Musk has responded aggressively to criticism of his X’s handling of antisemitic content as the company’s ad business struggles. X CEO Linda Yaccarino has said that most of the platform’s biggest advertisers have returned after dropping the site due to its moderation changes, but Media Matters previously showed that they’re spending far less than they used to. Yaccarino responded later on Thursday, writing that X has been “extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination.”