X is placing ads for Amazon, NBA Mexico, NBCUniversal, and others next to content with white nationalist hashtags – By Eric Hananoki (Media Matters) / Nov 17, 2023
IBM recently announced that it suspended advertising on X — will others follow?
“Brands are now ‘protected from the risk of being next to’ potentially toxic content, [X CEO Linda] Yaccarino said. She added that if content is ‘lawful but awful’ it’s difficult to remove it from the platform, but that the company’s new content controls would reduce advertiser risk.” [CNBC, 8/10/23]
IBM announced yesterday that it is suspending its advertising on X (formerly Twitter) after Media Matters reported that the platform placed its ads next to content promoting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. IBM isn’t alone in having issues when advertising on the platform: Following our report yesterday, we additionally found ads for Amazon, NBA Mexico, NBCUniversal Catalyst, Action Network, and Club for Growth next to white nationalist hashtags like “KeepEuropeWhite,” “white pride,” and “WLM” (“White Lives Matter”).
X’s problem with advertising comes as owner Elon Musk praised the pernicious antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jewish communities are supporting “hordes of minorities” who are “flooding” into the country to replace white people. Musk’s endorsement is just the latest example of him embracing rhetoric and conspiracy theories from the far-right fringes.
Aside from his own rhetoric, Musk has opened the floodgates to hateful content by reversing bans on anti-Muslim bigots, white nationalists, and antisemites. His company has also financially rewarded extremists, including apparently paying $3,000 to a pro-Hitler and Holocaust denial account through X’s ad revenue sharing program. (Even after criticism, X has not suspended that openly antisemitic account, which has nearly 100,000 followers.)