Apple announced Friday that it will temporarily pull its advertising from X (formerly known as Twitter) after the platform’s owner, Elon Musk, showed support for an antisemitic X post, Axios and The New York Times reported.
A group of Jewish leaders, rabbis and organizations promptly called out Musk’s amplification of the post, claiming that he was spreading “the kind of antisemitism that leads to massacres.”
In a statement, those leaders called on major companies, including Apple, Amazon and Disney, to pull their advertisements from the platform. Apple’s decision to pull its ads followed a similar move by IBM on Thursday.
In the wake of Musk’s comments this week, X leaders are scrambling to address the fallout as more advertisers — such as Lions Gate Entertainment, Disney and the European Commission — reportedly announced that they, too, were pulling back from the platform.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC in September that, as a company, they constantly ask themselves if they should pull advertisements off of X because of the promotion of antisemitism on the platform.
Apple did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
On Friday, the White House decried Musk’s “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate.”
“It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of Antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said Friday, according to USA Today, referring to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Musk had tried to walk back his comment shortly after posting on Wednesday, suggesting in a follow-up post that he was referring to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in his initial tweet. Musk and the ADL have sparred over the surge of hate and antisemitism on X.
In May, Musk reinstated many banned accounts on the platform, including those of several well-known neo-Nazis and a slate of accounts that were ousted over bigoted rhetoric. Musk’s changes helped foster “social spaces where Twitter users connected through shared antisemitism and other hate,” the ADL said at the time.
Musk faulted the ADL for the platform’s loss of revenue and threatened to file a defamation lawsuit in September against the group. X faced an advertising revenue plunge of 50% in July, followed by an advertising drop of 60% in September, CBS News reported.