IBM suspends advertising on Twitter after Elon Musk promotes antisemitic conspiracy theory

Tech giant IBM has suspended its advertising on Twitter after Elon Musk promoted an antisemitic conspiracy theory and its ads appeared against far-right accounts. This was observed after Musk's tweet described as "actual truth" another poster's belief that Jews sought to replace white Americans with immigrants. From there Media Matters was able to identify other examples of branded ads running against similar material.

"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," a company spokesperson said in a statement. …

Renewed concerns around advertisements running alongside pro-Nazi content on X also come after Musk himself on Wednesday agreed with an antisemitic post on X, endorsing the claim that Jewish communities push "hatred against Whites." And the billionaire also suggested that the Anti-Defamation League promotes racism against White people.

In a post on X Thursday, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt accused Musk of pushing antisemitism.

"At a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world, it is indisputably dangerous to use one's influence to validate and promote antisemitic theories,"Greenblatt wrote.

I read some suggestions that whatever code normally keeps brand advertising from appearing on Twitter's Nazi material does not apply to the proprietor's own account, so him posting it himself stopped the filters from applying to the resulting deluge of interactions. This appeals to the general impression of Musk Twitter being a haphazard pile of barely-tested, barely-functional production hacks, but the general thrust of Media Matters' investigation implies that there really wasn't any brand safety to speak of irrespective of Musk's personal chucklefuckery. Brand safety at Twitter is a warm Linda Yaccarino panic tweet.

IBM is sensitive to this topic because the Holocaust couldn't have happened without the technology and services it provided to the Nazis. It doesn't want them to stand so, don't stand so, don't stand so close to me. Other companies reported to be advertising against Nazi content on Twitter include Apple and Oracle.