Apple has reportedly followed IBM by pulling advertising from X, formerly Twitter, after the platform’s owner Elon Musk made posts agreeing with antisemitic conspiracy theories and supporting white pride.
Citing unnamed sources, Axios reports that Apple is pausing all advertising on X. Later on Friday, the New York Times reported that Disney would pause advertising on X, while CNBC noted the same for Warner Bros. Discovery. Paramount and Comcast / NBCUniversal have paused their ads as well, Axios says in a separate report.
The nonprofit Media Matters highlighted Musk’s statements yesterday, as well as advertisements from corporations that X placed next to pro-Nazi and pro-Hitler content. When IBM froze its advertising on Thursday, the company issued a statement to The Verge saying it would investigate “this entirely unacceptable situation.”
At least two other organizations have halted ads today, too. Bloomberg reports that Lionsgate “has suspended all advertising on X, effective immediately,” and Politico said that the European Commission had stopped advertising due to “widespread concerns relating to the spread of disinformation.”
Sources tell The Verge’s Alex Heath that Apple has been one of the largest advertisers on the platform. It routinely purchased ads promoting new products and bought custom “hashflag” emoji animations for high-profile events that would change the reaction of the like button on tagged posts.
In a September interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple is constantly thinking about advertising on X, and “there are some things about it I don’t like.” At the time, he gave no hints about plans to stop.
Update November 17th, 8:40PM ET: Added report that Paramount and Comcast / NBCUniversal have paused advertising on X.