Why IBM decided to pull its ads from X

Sweta Gupta
Sweta GuptaNov 17, 2023 | 13:38

Why IBM decided to pull its ads from X

Monthly US ad revenue at X has declined over 55% year-over-year since Musk took over in October 2022. (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

IBM, a multinational technology and consulting company, has suspended all advertising on X, the platform owned by Elon Musk (formerly known as Twitter).

This decision comes after IBM's advertisements were displayed alongside content promoting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.


  • IBM halted its advertising on X due to its ads being associated with posts praising Adolf Hitler and Nazism, considering this alignment "completely unacceptable." 
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.
- IBM said in a statement

In response, X claimed that it does not intentionally place brands alongside such content, stating that the cited content by Media Matters would no longer profit from its posts, as reported by Reuters.

Media Matters for America, a left-leaning watchdog, reported instances where ads from IBM, Apple, Oracle, and Comcast's Xfinity appeared alongside content containing Hitler quotes, Nazi praise, and Holocaust denial.

Other ads from IBM, Apple, Oracle, and Comcast's Xfinity were also placed alongside antisemitic content.

Notably, one pro-Nazi post, accompanied by an IBM ad, received approximately 8,000 views, according to X's statement to the BBC

  • IBM promptly ceased all ads on X and reiterated their stance against hate speech.
  • Meanwhile, X emphasized that ads are not intentionally positioned near extremist content, and accounts promoting Nazi ideologies won't benefit from advertising.
  • They plan to label specific posts as "sensitive media."

Elon Musk had previously discussed anti-Jewish ideas, but X did not directly address these incidents.


CEO Linda Yaccarino's statement urged an end to discrimination, a stance she believes everyone should support.

In response to criticism on X about targeting Jewish individuals, Musk accused the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of being behind the advertising decline without substantiated evidence.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt highlighted the danger of validating antisemitic theories amidst the global rise in antisemitism, emphasizing the need for caution and responsibility.

Since Musk's acquisition of X, reports suggest advertisers have departed due to reduced content moderation, resulting in a surge in hate speech, according to civil rights groups.


Reuters reported a substantial monthly decline of over 55% in US ad revenue at X year-over-year since Musk's takeover in October 2022.

Last updated: November 17, 2023 | 13:38
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