Yesterday, Elon Musk promoted an antisemitic conspiracy theory and described it as "actual truth," and in the aftermath Media Matters posted an exposé on the brands whose ads appear against such material on the site. IBM, with its uneasy past of collaboration with the Third Reich, was first to jump. Now Apple, said to be Twitter's largest remaining advertiser, is following suit. Axios has the scoop:
Apple is pausing all advertising on X, the Elon Musk-owned social network, sources tell Axios. Why it matters: The move follows Musk's endorsement of antisemitic conspiracy theories as well as Apple ads reportedly being placed alongside far-right content. Apple has been a major advertiser on the social media site and its pause follows a similar move by IBM. The big picture: Musk faced backlash for endorsing an antisemitic post Wednesday, as 164 Jewish rabbis and activists upped their call to Apple, Google, Amazon and Disney to stop advertising on X, and for Apple and Google to remove it from their platforms.
At about the same time, the White House issued an official condemnation of Musk's postings.
The tech entrepreneur had endorsed a social media post that echoed the conspiracy theory that had fueled the Tree of Life synagogue killer in 2018. …
The White House on Friday denounced Elon Musk for boosting an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory on his social media platform X, calling the actions of Mr. Musk, the world's richest person, an "abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate."
Mr. Musk endorsed a post on X, formerly Twitter, accusing Jewish people who are facing antisemitism amid the Israel-Hamas war of pushing the "exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them" and supporting the immigration of "hordes of minorities."
"You have said the actual truth," Mr. Musk replied to the post.
Companies still advertising on Twitter knew it was going this way and perhaps sought to benefit from the departure of more reputationally-vulnerable brands. IBM and Apple finally hitting the wall with Musk's reactionary spiral is one of those "inflection points" you read of.
Here's a thing to consider: when Musk goes full Kanye he will experience a feeling of liberation that being the world's richest man doesn't give him. "Nothing human is alien to me," wrote Terence. But some of us are alienated in incomprehensible ways.