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X bleeds further due to Elon Musk’s controversial remarks, Linda Yaccarino feels the heat

When Apple cut back on its advertising in December 2022, Elon Musk got into an online argument with the corporation, questioning whether CEO Tim Cook and his staff hate free speech in America

Following Elon Musk’s alleged endorsement of an anti-Semitic remark on X (rebranded Twitter) recently, Apple has decided to halt all of its advertising on the micro-blogging platform.

Apple’s peers in the media and technology fields, like Disney and IBM, also released announcements along similar lines.

A story published in the middle week of November 2023 claimed that Apple’s advertisements had appeared next to tweets endorsing Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

According to media sources, movie studios Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Comcast/NBCUniversal announced that they would likewise halt their advertisements on X, along with Apple, Disney and IBM.

In a tweet, Elon Musk said that Jews hated white people, while calling it “the actual truth.”

The tech billionaire’s remarks were immediately denounced by the White House, branding them as “abhorrent.”

In reaction to Elon Musk’s remarks, a group of over 150 rabbis demanded that companies cease running advertisements on the social media platform.

When Elon Musk bought the company in November 2022, the iPhone manufacturer was one of the largest advertisers on the social network, spending up to USD 100 million annually there, according to Bloomberg.

The business claimed that it had “mostly stopped” running advertisements on X in December 2022, but the financial picture shown by ad analytics data was otherwise. Since then, Twitter’s operations have collapsed, with personnel at less than 50% of pre-Musk levels, regulators hovering, advertisers vanishing, and user numbers plummeting.

Following his unfortunate acquisition, researchers have also found a troubling increase in racist and anti-Semitic messages on the social network.

When Apple cut back on its advertising in December 2022, Elon Musk got into an online argument with the corporation, questioning whether CEO Tim Cook and his staff “hate free speech in America.”

At the time, he tweeted a meme about “going to war” with Apple, which he later removed. Shortly after, Cook extended an invitation to Elon Musk to visit Apple’s headquarters, and it appeared that the two had reconciled.

IBM, a prominent advertiser on X, declared about no longer running their ads on X. The corporate decision was made in reaction to a report published by Media Matters, a leftist watchdog, which revealed that hate speech was featured in both IBM and Apple’s advertisements. In response, Elon Musk referred to Media Matters as an “evil organisation.”

An IBM representative told the Guardian, “We have immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this completely unacceptable situation. IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination.”

The CEO of X, Linda Yaccarino, who previously oversaw NBC Universal’s advertising sales division, made an effort to repair the damage by stating, “X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board.” But she didn’t mention Elon Musk by name or his tweets.

However, she has now been contacted by leading advertising executives, who believe that she is risking her credibility by shielding Elon Musk. These individuals also suggested that Linda Yaccarino should make a statement about racism and anti-Semitism by resigning from her post.

As per a Forbes report, the measures implemented by X to shield advertisers have not worked well as promised by Linda Yaccarino, who reportedly pledged to build tools to help give advertisers more control over what content their ads would appear next to.

“One, a machine learning enhanced ‘Sensitivity Settings,’ was intended as a supplement of existing controls already provided to advertisers concerned about ads appearing next to untoward content, according to this person and materials viewed by Forbes. It was to be an AI powered safety net in addition to keyword filtering and block lists, and companies with ‘strict sensitivity thresholds’ would be able to set it to ‘Conservative’ to protect them from targeted hate speech, sexual content, gratuitous gore, excessive profanity, obscenity, spam and drugs,” the report stated further.

Two other settings provided lower thresholds for sensitive content. These settings, known as “Relaxed (coming soon),” and “Standard” used “targeted hate speech” as the first example of content that would be avoided on the micro-blogging platform.

“Beyond this, the admin panel for the tool pledges that Content that is in violation of X’s rules is excluded regardless of the sensitivity level selected, making it clear that each of these settings added an additional level of protection,” Forbes stated further.

However, it now seems that all these experimentations couldn’t stop ads placed by Apple, Bravo, Oracle, Xfinity, and IBM to appear next to posts endorsing Hitler and the Nazi Party. The ad executives have taken a strong view on the whole fiasco, as they see this as one of X’s failures to deliver on another of its promises. And Elon Musk’s erratic online behaviour has deteriorated the matter further.

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