back to article IBM pauses advertising on X after ads show up next to antisemitic content

IBM has paused advertising on X after reports emerged that its ads had been served alongside antisemitic content on the platform. "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," Big Blue confirmed to …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    FAIL

    Surprised?

    Anyone?

    <chirp>...<crickets>...<chirp>...

    1. aerogems Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Surprised?

      Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    2. JoeCool Silver badge
      Devil

      Yes.

      I am surprised that IBM didn't announce this

      "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"

      about 13 months ago.

      Xitter, the current spawn of ...

    3. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: Surprised?

      The latest is that Media Matters are being investigated over criminal fraud over this.

      But sure, let's keep pretending that free speech for the right as well as the left means "racism".

  2. BebopWeBop
    Facepalm

    What did they expect from Musk?

    It would be quicker, easier, and probably more cost-effective to just ban their adverts appearing there.

    From The Grauaniad - https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/nov/16/elon-musk-antisemitic-tweet-adl

    Elon Musk tweeted his fervent agreement with an antisemitic statement on Wednesday night.

    By affirming an antisemitic trope, Elon Musk sinks to a dangerous new low

    A tweet posted by @breakingbaht on Wednesday night read: “Jewish communties [sic] have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”

    The billionaire owner and CTO of X, formerly Twitter, responded the same evening: “You have said the actual truth.” In another reply, he wrote: “I am deeply offended by ADL’s messaging and any other groups who push de facto anti-white racism or anti-Asian racism or racism of any kind.” Musk has feuded with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) before, threatening to sue over its accounting of hate speech on his social media network.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What did they expect from Musk?

      The moment you quote the guardian, you have lost the argument.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: What did they expect from Musk?

        What would you prefer, the bastion of truth that is The Daily Mail?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: What did they expect from Musk?

          That’s like asking if you prefer dog turd sandwiches to cat turd sandwiches.

      2. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: What did they expect from Musk?

        The moment you wrote that you lost the argument.

      3. logicalextreme

        Re: What did they expect from Musk?

        How so, friend?

      4. HMcG

        Re: What did they expect from Musk?

        The moment you resort to claiming someone "has lost the argument", without you having providied any sound arguments, facts or references, is just an attempt to shut down any discussion. Which, ironically, mostly happens when you are losing the argument...

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Interesting Heisenbug

    The ads track what you follow on the web. So IBM's media team are going to see different content around their ad than Racist McRacistFace viewing the same IBM ad

    But if the media tracking company's bot scanned "International Holocaust Denial" immediately before "International Business Machines" it's going to see something different than if it came from "International Harvester"

    A bit like those Mumsnet complaints: "I used my husband's Facebook account and all I see are ads for porn and call girls",

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Interesting Heisenbug

      You’ve got that arse-about-face. IBM doesn’t care if Racist McRacistFace sees their ad or not; they really do care if people who happen to see offensive tweets in their timeline also see IBM’s ads next to those messages.

      (Also, Twitter has largely given up displaying content based on user activity: now everyone gets shown a semi-randomised selection of whatever the blue-tick bots have posted; it suppose it saves computation, and thus money)

      It is entirely Twitter’s decision where it places the ads that its advertisers pay for. Other platforms suppress advertising around certain topics: YouTube in particular has a lengthy “de-monetisation” list that will get your video excluded from advertising if you use any of the terms on it. YouTube doesn’t go to that effort for no reason - it does so because it knows that if it runs an advert from a major customer on an offensive video, there’s a chance that the customer will find out and complain, or worse, stop advertising on the platform.

      Twitter also did something similar pre-Musk, but from my understanding it was based on accounts rather than topics: accounts that were flagged by moderators would not get ads from major customers placed near their tweets. It would appear that this no longer happens, and so ads from large, valuable, advertisers are appearing beside content that those advertisers really do not want to be associated with.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What did anyone expect?

    anagram of Musk is SKUM. Says it all.

    Elon has to keep in (goosestep ) with his dear leader Donald 'the greatest' Trump.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What did anyone expect?

      >Elon has to keep in (goosestep ) with his dear leader Donald 'the greatest' Trump.

      I think you may have a fundamental misunderstanding of capitalism

      The non-billionaires do what the billionaires tell them to do

    2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What did anyone expect?

      Why are you upset that Trump is allowed on Twitter when the Taliban are on Twitter?

      Silly sausage.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What does "dialectical hatred " even mean? Dialectical feels like a word somebody would use to feel smarter, or maybe I'm just an idiot.

    1. LionelB Silver badge

      It means "logically argued hatred".

    2. aerogems Silver badge

      It's just a bunch of pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Makes you sound smart and most people will simply pretend they know what it is rather than ask. So, you're basically bang on in your assessment.

      1. BartyFartsLast

        "It's just a bunch of pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Makes you sound smart and most people will simply pretend they know what it is rather than ask. So, you're basically bang on in your assessment."

        E.G. Jordan Peterson, Elon Musk, stupid people's idea of genius.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          JP's never claimed to be smart, he just has 2 or 3 arguments that he knows inside out, back to front and upside down...

          ...that have the interesting side effect of being able to absolutely destroy without mercy any of the feminazi or woke nutjobs he makes a career out of taking down.

          1. Grooke

            Oh yeah, the lobster expert...

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >What does "dialectical hatred " even mean?

      It's when old capacitors leak and ruin old kit - I really hate that

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yet another polarising opinion!

    4. Pete Sdev Bronze badge

      Not knowing what a word means isn't stupid, merely a lack of knowledge.

      Not being capable of looking a word up in a dictionary however, particularly in this day and age, is.

      The son of a South African diamond mine owner was using the word incorrectly which doesn't help I'll grant you.

      Slightly miffed other people were quicker than me with the capacitor jokes

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "using the word incorrectly"

        Which is pretty well what aerogems said. Just pretentious padding.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently Musk's answer to this latest fiasco is "Media Matters is an evil organization".

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1725333983808848059

    And, oh god, that thread rots my brain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And he is apparently about to file a thermonuclear lawsuit against them while simultaneously railing about the suppression of free speech. Some may argue with the description of Musk as a genius, but you can't deny his is a very special sort of brain.

      1. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

        Unfortunately, based on the beliefs in conspiracy theories and using them to justify racism, I think perhaps special as in "time for the rubber room." Some people crack under pressure, and Musk certainly has been under a lot of it lately. Time for a wee "vacation" at Betty Ford...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Time for a wee "vacation" at Betty Ford...

          He'd only want to buy it, sack most of the staff and run it according to his whims of the day.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          My money is on him going full Howard Hughes

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "that thread rots my brain."

      Don't read it, then. Reading it is what he wants you to do.

    3. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      I'll sum it up for you.

      Media Matters ( ran by an antisemite who once praised the KKK ), contrived the situation by collating content and then repeatedly refreshing until they got something "incriminating".

      Twitter had the logs and they are going to file a lawsuit against Media Matters this morning.

      1. notyetanotherid

        > ( ran by an antisemite who once praised the KKK )

        [citation needed]

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/03/14/media-matters-president-apologizes-offensive-statements-old-blog/

          Media Matters isn't anti-racist. It's a fanatical left-wing racist organisation that is intent on shutting down moderate right wing voices and is using its deceptive and fraudulent tactics against Musk's Twitter to facilitate that aim.

          Fortunately for the MM president, I'm sure he'll be welcomed with open arms by the white supremacist gang in his local nick once he has his collar felt.

  7. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

    Well this is disingenuous.

    Before Musk bought Twitter, Twitter was a haven of antisemitism.

    This article is because El Reg fell in-line with the rest of the left wing media, isn't it? "Trump bad, Hamas good, Musk bad, Israel (...) bad", etc.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Pre-Musk, Twitter were literally restricting the speech of right-wing voices and amplifying left-wing voices. They happily lied on behalf of left-wing political parties in order to trick users into voting a particular way, etc, etc, etc.

      Musk comes along and cleans it up and the left-wing establishment media, of which El Reg has been in lock-step with since (IIRC) January 2017 goes along with the lie that he's turned it into a home for racists. Obviously.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Agreed, The Register has lots any sense of courage and prefers to cow-tow to various ideologies.. I can't even imagine what Mike Magee thinks of what is has now become...

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          You need a room or something? You know, so you can be alone with your sock puppets.

        2. sedregj
          Windows

          "Agreed, The Register has lots any sense of courage and prefers to cow-tow to various ideologies.. I can't even imagine what Mike Magee thinks of what is has now become..."

          If you are going to take the piss, then do the job properly. Cow-towing is illegal - you should allow them to move at their own pace or put them on a trailer or similar. You should also provide adequate feed, warmth and regular stops. You cruel monster, you!

          No, you can't imagine much.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            You can tow cows, but you must use their horn to warn other road users

        3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Magee...

          Left the biz before El Reg was barely getting started, and went off to found Inq, which later imploded. I'm sure he's happy wherever he is.

          I have no idea what you expect from us here. Musk said something dumb again as advertisers pull their ads because they don't like the content on a site. We're conveying what happened. You can decide whether Elon or IBM is in the right, I don't think we've glided in any particular direction about it in the piece.

          C.

          1. aerogems Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Magee...

            Didn't your mother teach you anything? Never bring logic to a simp fight!

          2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: Magee...

            Musk said something dumb again as advertisers pull their ads because they don't like the content on a site

            Classic Fuck Around and Find Out (through falling ad revenues). Otherwise known as a natural experiment. I predict there will be a lot of PhD theses in the future, across a variety of disciplines, analysing the demise of Twitter.

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        "Musk comes along and cleans it up"

        Cleans it up? He's only one step short of "nuke it from orbit".

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          The main step being that he's not doing it from orbit - he's actually standing in the target zone.

      3. Robert 22

        Since Musk took over Twitter, my feed has been filled with the rantings of RW nut-jobs. And if you try to dispute the lies, you get piled on by the true believers.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          It’s almost as if writing something on twitter has some importance. I’m fact most of the world sees twitter for the puerile sewer that it is.

    2. Mitoo Bobsworth

      I love how haters always bitch about stuff they know is a trigger point for them, but still actively & consciously go to those places. I guess it's some kind of addiction.

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Hamas

      I highly doubt anyone involved with producing this article is of the opinion that Hamas, a blood-thirsty hive of terror bastards, is in any way good.

      Also: as I've said before, we're not particularly left or right, this way or that on Trump or Musk, etc. We're just anti-dumb. If you're in a position of power or responsibility, and you're an idiot, we'll call you a moron.

      Case in point: for all the criticism made by the left over Brett Kavanaugh's appointment, he's actually made some sound decisions on technology as a US Supreme Court justice. On a personal level, you could find him repulsive, but he ain't a moron and that's how we cover his decisions. We've also been sarcastic about the Biden White House.

      And I don't think the article is disingenuous: we've not asserted Musk turned Twitter into a cesspool. We've reported that advertisers, funnily enough, are sensitive about the content around their ads. Happens here as well: people withdrawing ads from stories about hacking, crime, coronavirus, etc.

      C.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Hamas

        "We've reported that advertisers, funnily enough, are sensitive about the content around their ads."

        Big companies, especially those whose product isn't particularly unique (fizzy drinks, snack foods, American "beer") have to be very conscious about brand management. We've seen what happened with Bud Light and what happens when somebody is put in charge of the brand and they come in with a social agenda that is much different than the marketing for that product to date. The mystique around the product that the company creates is more important than the product itself. Elon should know this. He put meh Tequila from a company that didn't have any background in that type in a fancy bottle and used hype to sell it to the fans at a premium price.

        No company wants their ads to run next to a thread of hate on social media. This makes me recall an example in a newspaper where an ad for frilly girls dresses was placed next to a story about the police catching up to some child botherer. I'm sure the dress company/store was not pleased.

      2. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Hamas

        Also: as I've said before, we're not particularly left or right, this way or that on Trump or Musk, etc. We're just anti-dumb. If you're in a position of power or responsibility, and you're an idiot, we'll call you a moron.

        I beg to differ : I've been on El Reg since 2008 and I truly don't remember reading many, if any , articles with such political bias.

        El Reg knows which articles will bring out the "Orange Man Bad" crowd who seem to delight it reminding us constantly about their ideologies .. It appears as this is done intentionally on El Reg's behalf.. It's all about them clicks, n'est-ce pas.

        You want to pull in the Left Wing everything is Hate Speech crowd: Just write anything with Musk's name in it, regardless of the content , it will instantly attract the children as if you were handing out free candy.

        In the good ol days El Reg would write equally sarcastic articles about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs , so their was plenty for everyone to debate upon, it wasn't really political. Now it appears that the sarcasm is only about those that the Left Wingers don't agree with..

        I would rather that the politics and ideological side of things was completely ignored. We have enough politics elsewhere. I come to El Reg for "IT News", yes there definitely is a lot to learn and also for the banter. I don't come to be educated about the correct way of thinking...

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Hamas

          Well I've been here since about 2004 and, barring the aberration that was the Lewis Page era, I generally agree there is very little political bias here.

          As a technical site with a technical readership there I'd presume a respect for hard facts in the articles and comments. The problem you've got is that in the Trump era, it's the "right" that have embraced the use of "Alternative Facts", which is going to go down particularly badly with an audience of engineers, just as just as "you're holding it wrong" did at the time, from the notably not-right-wing Jobs.

          So yeah. Orange man bad.

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Hamas

          Since 2008? That makes you a newbie compared to some of us...

          The only thing that's chapped *my* lips since 1996 is that El Reg went from 'proppa British' to 'American' - But times change, and their readership has changed, and thus their language has to appeal to their changed readership (read "they went American because more Americans read this site than Brits do"), so it's not something that'd have irked me forever.

          But left-wing bias? No, more like "common sense bias". If that is "left wing" to you, then maybe you may want to consider how far on the right/nutcase scale you are to consider their publication of common-sense articles "left wing".

          You're always welcome to start a "non-left wing" kind of tech site and see how well that goes.

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: Hamas

            "You're always welcome to start a "non-left wing" kind of tech site and see how well that goes."

            Case in point : proved...

          2. notyetanotherid

            Re: Hamas

            https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-register-uk/

            Bias Rating: LEAST BIASED

            Factual Reporting: HIGH

            Country: United Kingdom

            Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE

            Media Type: Website

            Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic

            MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY

        3. Jeff Smith

          Re: Hamas

          Strikes me that since 2008 many folk have become incredibly thin skinned regarding any criticism of their chosen idol. So much so that they’ll jump straight into the comments to hop up and down bemoaning bias in an article that merely reports some things that have happened that they don’t like or that don’t meet with their preconceived notions.

          The credo of such individuals seems to be: If someone doesn’t agree with you they are bias and are pushing an agenda. If you don’t like the facts presented to you then dismiss them as part of a conspiracy, or feel safe to dismiss them out of hand because of something someone else did once. Believe whatever you want to believe, get mad with people who disagree, be sure to ignore anything they have to say. If someone persists in challenging your beliefs then threaten them.

          I find it concerning that so many are completely incapable of stepping back and impassionately applying critical thinking. These are important skills that need to be taught every day from a young age, the world would be far better for it. Instead we seem to be up to our necks in bullshit and sinking deeper.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Hamas

            "their chosen idol"

            Was that a spelling error?

          2. heyrick Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Hamas

            "Instead we seem to be up to our necks in bullshit and sinking deeper."

            Can't upvote this enough.

        4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Hamas

          the "Orange Man Bad" crowd

          Musk articles bring out those of us who want to rubberneck at slow-motion car crash (metaphorical, of course).

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Hamas

        "We're just anti-dumb."

        In consequence the dumb are going to accuse you of bias.

    4. desht

      Nothing like an Elon Musk article to bring the swivel eyed brigade are out in force!

  8. Rainer

    Nobody complained for years

    When the Iranian Ayatollah spewed his usual antisemitic nonsense and was not banned (in contrast to Donald Trump).

    But as soon as Elon takes over, everybody falls over themselves to find stuff they can personally attribute to him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody complained for years

      See, the Ayatollah was appointed by God, Trump just thinks he was.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nobody complained for years

        He thinks he is

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Nobody complained for years

        "See, the Ayatollah was appointed by God, Trump just thinks he was.:

        I'll go with that with a small modification, they both think they've been anointed by deity.

      3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: Nobody complained for years

        Rich people wrote and sponsored the bible from Jewish kings and high priests to the Roman Emperors who adopted and forced Christianity on everyone ... why would Trump think any differently ?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Nobody complained for years

          Poor historical knowledge there. Christianity was adopted and spread by the underclasses in the Roman Empire. It was suppressed by the state until the time of Constantine, emperor from 306.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Nobody complained for years

            Poor historical knowledge there. Christianity was adopted and spread by the underclasses in the Roman Empire. It was suppressed by the state until the time of Constantine, emperor from 306.

            I think this is just evidence that history is repeating itself. Blooming peasents wandering around, spreading the word but not the right words. Some of them were even kneeling on Sundays! So Constantine set his Council on preventing the spread of misinformation. Lots of stuff was censored and cut from the official Bible(s). Plus there was early cartel and uncompetitive behaviours, like the carving up of franchise areas between Alexandria and Rome. Fast forward nearly 2,000 yrs and the great & good are still arguing that you can't hear that, read that, discuss that, but at least the penalties for modern heresies are less severe. Or we have digital shunning instead of physical, and thanks to the Internet, apocrypha are more readily available for the interested to read.

          2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: Nobody complained for years

            Doctor: Poor historical knowledge there. Christianity was adopted and spread by the underclasses in the Roman Empire

            cow: Wrong again.

            Yes it was spread by the underclasses, so were many other religions that have faded into history.

            Many ideas are spread by word, but only written material keeps it alive and passes the test of time. There were many ancient religions but they are gone, and most o fthe time we dont really know all the fine details about them to the same levels we have of christianity.

            The reason why his happened is because writing stuff down costs education, money and storage. You dont get these items on the scale that lasts thousands of years unless you have real money behind you.

            Poor people can talk about their gods, but those stories fade, the bible lasted because the Roman Emperors gave it to us because of their sponsorship.

            Same is true of the jewish bible, most people back then could barely feed their family they certainly couldnt afford to make dozens of copies on expensive calf skin etc. Only the kings and high priests of isreal could do that, just look at the authors of all their books. Moses, Joshua, David, Samuel, and so on its all elites.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Nobody complained for years

      >When the Iranian Ayatollah spewed his usual antisemitic nonsense and was not banned (in contrast to Donald Trump).

      It's the Ayatollah's job to call for the violent overthrow of the United States.

      It's generally frowned upon when the President does the same thing

      1. Winkypop Silver badge

        Re: Nobody complained for years

        “It's generally frowned upon when the President does the same thing”

        January 6th was a darn good try.

        1. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Nobody complained for years

          Yes, and that (the fact they almost succeeded) should be a major warning to those who value democracy in the truest sense of the word. The last time there was such a major putsch in a major 'Western' economy, the world quickly was embroiled in a major world war.

          And yes, conversely, those who planned the January 6th events now also know what they must change for it to possibly succeed. And *that* should now also be a major warning to those who value democracy.

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: Nobody complained for years

        I always found it funny that these fundies claim to believe, and always God willing but when it really counts they dont trust god will protect them so they build all these weapons.

      3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: Nobody complained for years

        Who said its his job ?

        Its not his job, stupid tirades llike this are the oldest trick in the book. Always blame someone else like this, and that will disstract the population from the real prolems of the country. Hitler did it and guess what the Ayatollah also copied this tactic.

  9. EricM

    Surprised? Really?

    I understood the opportunity to ram your adverts specifically into the eyeballs of right-wing nuts, whose opinions are "cancelled" in the rest of the "woke" media to be Musk's actual business plan for TwiX.

    So why acts anyone surprised when adverts on this platform are shown next to hate and antisemitism? That's simply what the designated target audience consumes most.

    This is just how this dark twin of Twitter is designed to operate nowadays.

    Don't like your ads next to hate? Don't advertise on TwiX...

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: Surprised? Really?

      What do you have against African Americans like Musk that you have to lie about them?

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        Re: Surprised? Really?

        Oh Disgusting, don’t you ever change

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surprised? Really?

      Why would you want to advertise on chocolate bars?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surprised? Really?

        Left Twix

        RIght Twix

        Far-Right Twix

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Surprised? Really?

          >Far-Right Twix

          White chocolate and no caramel ?

          1. logicalextreme

            Re: Surprised? Really?

            or biscuit

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Surprised? Really?

          I like Kit-Kats better.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. midcapwarrior

    maybe he is a genius

    The bank consortium that loaned the money to purchase twiitter have not been able to off load the loans even with significant discounts.

    Perhaps he's driving the value of the loans to a level that he can buy them on the cheap.

    Then refinance the loans and make a significant net profit.

    Genius move.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: maybe he is a genius

      It's almost as if saving free speech was worth more than money.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: maybe he is a genius

        There were already Twitter clones where crazy right wingers could spew their hate without fear of censorship like Gab and Parler. Turning Twitter into an equivalent will drive away everyone who isn't a crazy right winger so he'll have paid $44 billion for something he could have bought for a fraction of that.

        The people he drives off Twitter will end up going somewhere else - just where isn't clear yet but once there is a good alternative the masses on Twitter will flee, and the right wingers who aren't spewing the hate and violence will follow them because that's where everyone else is. Twitter will end up with a userbase similar in size to Gab+Parler+Trump's thing, if that.

        This nutty idea that companies being forced to allow any sort of hateful and violent speech on platforms they own and pay to run is "free speech", and companies deciding what sort of speech they want to allow on platforms they own and pay for is "censorship" is a strange one. I guess you'll be OK with it if Biden comes by and has a campaign rally in your backyard? Free speech, right?

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: maybe he is a genius

          "The people he drives off Twitter will end up going somewhere else"

          In the pre-musk days the zeitgeist was always based around the catch-phrase "If you don't like it you are free to go elsewhere". Why are those same people not practicing what they preached ?.

          The ideologists always end up biting their own tails. Kinda ironic huh..

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: maybe he is a genius

            Huge numbers of Twitter users have said they want to, there just isn't anywhere else that's a viable alternative yet. Yet.

            In six months I expect that'll be different, as Bluesky will have ramped up its resources so it doesn't have to be invite-only, and Threads may have implemented the stuff that's missing that keeps it from being viable now.

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: maybe he is a genius

              The problem is that these right wingers won’t buy what decent people advertise, so anyone trying to give them a home doesn’t get the ad revenue.

              1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                Re: maybe he is a genius

                Have you considered that just because somebody things that smaller government is better than larger government, it doesn't make them evil?

                Perhaps try it.

            2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

              Re: maybe he is a genius

              Theres always the choice of NOT participating in social media ?

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: maybe he is a genius

            "In the pre-musk days the zeitgeist was always based around the catch-phrase "If you don't like it you are free to go elsewhere". Why are those same people not practicing what they preached ?."

            Some have, but Twitter was firmly established as the place to be and watch for "news". In the mean time, there are large banks that many have their accounts with that did a bunch of stupid so there could be impacts when the day comes that things needed to be evened up. I'd be very interested to see how the loans are secured. Is it with some of Elon's Tesla stock. It would have been nuts for the banks to jump without a net since that's a usual practice and their downside can be much more substantial.

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: maybe he is a genius

              The banks may have figured Twitter couldn't possibly lose enough value that their loans would be in danger. Debt is senior to equity so if they loaned 1/4 of the $44 billion as rumored they knew they were fine unless Twitter's value fell below $11 billion. They didn't know Musk was going to go off the MAGA deep end and halfway down the path to becoming a Nazi.

              If its value wasn't below $11 billion before, I'll bet it is now after this latest fiasco - it may take a couple weeks to see how much damage is done because corporate decision making will be slower since a holiday week is upcoming. Depending on the terms of the loans, there may be a way where banks can force Musk out and install their own management at some point if they believe the alternative is bankruptcy where they get nothing.

              If Musk does succeed in driving Twitter bankrupt, I wouldn't be surprised to see some high profile people at the banks who made these loans getting fired, if it turns out they approved those loans for personal political reasons.

              1. midcapwarrior

                Re: maybe he is a genius

                My take is musk usually makes money with his companies, some way, some how.

                The banks looked at his track record and assumed he'd actually try to make money this time also.

                It's not like loaning money to trump who's gone bankrupt what 7, 8 times?

              2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                Re: maybe he is a genius

                A lot of Twitter money is from Saudi Arabia and the other gulf states, not sure why you think is all the banks.

                The Saudis are buying anything they can hoping to his success when the oil runs out.

                1. midcapwarrior

                  Re: maybe he is a genius

                  The oil money sovereign funds are fine with walking away from the funding they provided.

                  Banks, not so much.

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: maybe he is a genius

                    "The oil money sovereign funds are fine with walking away from the funding they provided."

                    If some of the news reports are true, this isn't the case. Perhaps they're willing to take a calculated risk on an investment and will cut some slack if it doesn't work out but all involved made every effort to be successful. In the case of a really large sum of money and a whole lot of stupid, things won't be the same.

                2. gnasher729 Silver badge

                  Re: maybe he is a genius

                  44 billion. 27 from Musk, about 12 banks, 5 billion large US and Saudi investors. So about 3bn vs 12bn.

              3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: maybe he is a genius

                "Depending on the terms of the loans, there may be a way where banks can force Musk out and install their own management at some point if they believe the alternative is bankruptcy where they get nothing."

                The banks can absolutely hog tie Elon and stick him in the rubbish. If he doesn't make the payments on time and in full, they can "accelerate" the loans and demand payment in full. They can also reign in credit lines they might hold for Tesla, SpaceX and other entities that Elon has control over. I know and you know that Tesla and SpaceX are completely different entities, but they will come up with plausible reasoning that passes the legal test while sending a harsh message. At some point, the Tesla Board of Directors and the principal investors at SpaceX will have to take action.

                The banks wouldn't get nothing in a bankruptcy. Chances are that they are in a senior position to receive money and assets in the case of liquidation. A BK judge could order that current management is removed and new people put in to preserve any value for the benefit of the creditors.

          3. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

            Re: maybe he is a genius

            When something is as ubiquitous as Twitter, it becomes the public square.

            You can reasonably have a private company owning the de facto public square, but you can't have a situation where the private company in that situation puts their hands over the mouths of anybody who thinks that smaller government is better than bigger government, or that a government must secure its borders.

            Just because you want a particular side to win elections doesn't mean that we should free forego public debate on the subject.

        2. heyrick Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: maybe he is a genius

          "I guess you'll be OK with it if Biden comes by and has a campaign rally in your backyard?"

          Biden's not an arsehat and I think AOC would be quite an interesting person to talk to. So if they want to come hang out in my back yard (which is quite large, this used to be a farm) then they're more than welcome.

          Quite why they'd want to campaign in the back of beyond in France at the home of a total nobody is possibly the more pertinent question, but if they want to, I'm okay with that.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: maybe he is a genius

            I bet they dream of being able to do just that, and leave all the shit behind them.

            With the exception of El Trumpo, every other ex-president is grateful he wasn't allowed another sentence, I mean, term. Hard to imagine what a great day it must be when it's all somebody else's problem.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: maybe he is a genius

            "Biden's not an arsehat and I think AOC would be quite an interesting person to talk to. So if they want to come hang out in my back yard (which is quite large, this used to be a farm) then they're more than welcome."

            They could come over to my house after if they'll sign a waiver of liability for injuries (or death) if they fall down and break something. I'd also insist there be no crying and no talk of politics since I like to avoid discussions with people that know little about what they are talking about.

        3. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: maybe he is a genius

          It's not about "hateful and violent speech". If you don't actually have any understanding of this, why don't you go and find out?

    2. aerogems Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: maybe he is a genius

      Thanks, I needed a good chuckle.

    3. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: maybe he is a genius

      The banks gave Twitter a loan, so they can expect interest but not their money back. As long as Twitter pays its interest. Or musk pays for twitter, there’s nothing they can do. If interest isn’t paid they can force bankruptcy and a sale of Twitter to the highest bidder.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: maybe he is a genius

        "a sale of Twitter to the highest bidder"

        Would anyone pay enough to get them their money back?

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: maybe he is a genius

          Say apple and Google decide to buy it up for four bn each. Then get rid of the rubbish. Could be well worth it. Obviously they wouldn’t want to pay the banks _all_ their money. Just enough to be the highest bidder.

    4. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: maybe he is a genius

      Elon knows his Tesla shares are overpriced, he needs to move a few billions to somewhere else as a backup. This is why he bought Twitter, its his spare billions when everything goes pear shape. Every time he sells T shares his net value drops, he cant actually sell them all, so Twitter is another way to get some real cash.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: maybe he is a genius

        "so Twitter is another way to get some real cash"

        And it's all going so-o-o-o well.

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: maybe he is a genius

          Again you are missing the point.

          A few Billion is still enough if it all turns too shit.

  11. Zibob Bronze badge

    That's rich.

    IBM complaining about ads for them along side antisemitic posts. Its rattling around in my head that they made the machines to count and collect the Jews in German Europe in the 40s.

    If anything the advertising is historically correct in its placement.

    Of all the companies to complain of all the specific subjects... It had to be them about this.

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: That's rich.

      If you go back far enough you can find things wrong with any company. What's important is that, right now, they're taking steps to avoid making the same mistakes.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: That's rich.

      That episode is why IBM in particular is rather touchy about Nazis. We can analyze the events of the 1940s in a variety of ways to try to answer questions like how much did the IBM headquarters know about the particular use their machines were being put to. There are various levels of responsibility there, as the Nazis didn't exactly send a message to New York saying "we want to build a genocide database, please", but neither did they build the entire system themselves on IBM hardware. No matter where we fall on IBM's culpability, the current leadership of IBM wasn't around for it and they tend to make sharp turns any time their company and Nazism get too close to each other.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: That's rich.

      None of the managers who worked with Nazi Germany are still alive, and IBM has apologized for its past and made donations to organizations helping Holocaust survivors etc. Nintendo was formed as a company making playing cards sold in gambling dens run by Yakuza, should they have no right to complain about organized crime? Henry Ford was the world's most well known anti-semite until Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, should Ford not be allowed to pull ads from Twitter over this either? And obviously every German company that was around prior to 1945 should be permanently blacklisted for all time, right?

      I get that there are some people who still won't buy anything Sony because that rootkit thing, people who won't buy VW because of Dieselgate (but I guess were fine with their Nazi origins before that?) but at some point you have to forgive and move on. If one of your friends does something wrong, do you cut them out of your life? And I guess you are perfect, so they have no reason to ever cut you out of theirs?

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: That's rich.

        One has to wonder how Ford got away with that.

        I mean IBM helped Hitler, but Ford actually prescribed the hate which fuelled Hitler.

        Ford: We wrote the book that started Hitler and WW2.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: That's rich.

          One has to wonder how Ford got away with that.

          Same way as today. Be stonkingly rich and donate to the right people.

          I mean IBM helped Hitler, but Ford actually prescribed the hate which fuelled Hitler.

          Not really. One of those 'never forget' things should be that ideas like eugenics were very popular and fashionable amongst the intellectuals and elites of the day. Now, we have Schwab and his acolytes using their wealth and status to spout similar batshit ideas, like the plebs should be eating bugs and be happy.

          1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

            Re: That's rich.

            "You will own nothing and be happy"

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: That's rich.

          Ford got away with it because anti-semitism was a lot more widespread back then, just like racism was. Companies were not suffering from having overt racists in charge in pre WW II days either. Obviously anti-semitism or racism are far from gone in the US today, but there are fewer people who hold those views and fewer people willing to act on them.

          I think people wanting to "punish" the misdeeds of a century ago like Henry Ford's (or slaveowning presidents a century before that) are putting their efforts in the wrong place though. No one starts hating Jews because they are driving on Henry Ford Blvd, changing the name of a road named after him might make some people feel good but it has no real world impact. On the other hand, some might be convinced by Musk's rants - so countering those is where their efforts would probably be better spent.

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: That's rich.

            ds999: Obviously anti-semitism or racism are far from gone in the US today, but there are fewer people who hold those views and fewer people willing to act on them.

            cow: What about black lives matter ?

            When was the last time you heard an American mention black lives in Africa matter ?

            When was the last time Americans mention racism in connection to paying non Americans $1 a day to make Nikes ?

    4. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: That's rich.

      I think IBM doesn’t have the slightest responsibility to act the same way today as they did 80 years ago.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's rich.

      Some details in the book:

      IBM and the holocaust by Edwin Black

    6. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: That's rich.

      What about the car company that wrote the book that inspired Hitler...

      Go read the founders story he was very sorry for what he wrote...

    7. The Travelling Dangleberries

      Re: That's rich.

      Posted by the person who has never owned a VW or a vehicle made by GM and has never been treated with products made by Bayer and does not drink Fanta?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yaccarino went into damage control mode

    Can let my motor mouth run 'cos there's always Yaccarino,

    Whenever there's a mess she's there to try to sweep it clean-o,

    CEO-cum-Janitor that's Linda Yaccarino,

    Yay, Yaccarino!

    1. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: Yaccarino went into damage control mode

      Very catchy, but the meaning of that job title is a little too open to multiple interpretations when it involves working for Elon Musk.

  13. DJ
    Coat

    Who said that?

    "X responded to questions from The Register, again providing a statement from an unnamed executive at the company."

    Not much point reading the response after that, is there?

    Mine's the one with something meaningful to read in the pocket.

  14. quartzz

    this makes me want to buy IBM

    and the same might apply to other companies

    that's a hint

  15. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    It's perhaps a sad indictment of the state of Twitter that the main thing I took away from reading this article is that the European Commission runs adverts. WTF are they advertising?

    1. Anonymous Cowpilot

      The same as most governments; public health campaigns, reminders to register to vote. Information campaigns abour upcoming legislative changes etc.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "It's perhaps a sad indictment of the state of Twitter that the main thing I took away from reading this article is that the European Commission runs adverts. WTF are they advertising?"

      I find it annoying that in order to get timely information from a public agency, they want you to follow them on a social media site. If I want to know if my train is late, I find it more logical to visit the web site for the train network and look for "train status" or something along those lines. I'm pretty sure that functionality is available with a Wordpress plugin (or any CMS you choose).

  16. aerogems Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Just goes to show

    You can take the Apartheid out of South Africa, but you can't take the Apartheid South Africa out of Twitler.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just goes to show

      What about taking the Apartheid out of Israel!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just goes to show

        Love the down votes, it means I hit a nerve!

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          Re: Just goes to show

          It means you're a racist.

  17. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Narcissism wins

    All Musk really has to do is STFU & run X in a civil manner that attracts advertising revenue - a bridge too far for this one, apparently.

    1. quartzz

      Re: Narcissism wins

      if he was running x in a civil manner, it wouldn't be called x

    2. Excused Boots Bronze badge

      Re: Narcissism wins

      "All Musk really has to do is STFU & run X in a civil manner that attracts advertising revenue - a bridge too far for this one, apparently."

      Absolutely true, but, alas, he can't, he is psychologically unable to keep his opinions to himself.

      Of course like everyone else, he should (in an ideal world, which, News Flash, be don't live in), be allowed to say whatever he wants and indeed he sort of can. But words have consequences, yes please do say whatever you feel is right, but don't be surprised if others disagree with you, and if you happen to be the one owning and running the company (sorry Linda, but just what is your function anyway, and do you hold the most pointless and humiliating job on the planet?), then don't be surprised if advertisers not liking your view simply up sticks and move elsewhere!

      Which being a 'freedom loving' person, where people (and companies) are, presumably, free to make their own decisions then Elon should respect this and, well, basically STFU about it!

      Is it money, is it as simple as that? He is the second or first richest person (on paper naturally) on the planet, it varies from week to week. Has he fallen for the fatal belief that 'I am rich therefore I am better than anyone else, and more knowledgeable than anyone else, and, well, I'm just right - in everything, because I have more money than you, and I will never be wrong'?

      If so, then it would be a shame if the Wikipedia article for him in fifty years time starts with 'Complete Twat'! No he didn't found Tesla, but obviously did see potential and invested in it, eventually taking it over, he did found Space-X but seems to have had the good sense to leave the say to day running of it alone (maybe Linda needs to have a word with Gwen and find out the secret)!

      1. Sherrie Ludwig

        Re: Narcissism wins

        "All Musk really has to do is STFU & run X in a civil manner that attracts advertising revenue - a bridge too far for this one, apparently." As with another person in the news, he has the right to remain silent but alas, not the ability.

    3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Narcissism wins

      What does "Run X" even mean ?

      Do. you really thnik the CEO does everything and the sun doesnt shine without them ?

  18. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Holmes

    "IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination"

    Well, may be just there is some wiggle room on age discrimination

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      They might also define what "hate speech" actually means.. It's an extremely vague term that appears to have no other objective other than to avoid having to answer question in an adult manner.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        I know, let's ask an expert on the subject - Suella Braverman

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        They might also define what "hate speech" actually means.

        IBM might define it as complaining about the ageism.

  19. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    But free speech something something amendment blah blah

    The trouble with the way the ‘free speech’ is enshrined in the American constitution is that people like that elongated muskrat think it’s compulsory and also that it cannot be wrong under any circumstances.

    Basically, the guy is a dick

  20. MachDiamond Silver badge

    More are piling on

    Apple and Disney are joining IBM in pulling advertising off of "X".

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: More are piling on

      I think there would be a lot more piling on if it wasn't the Friday before a holiday week. Corporate decision making about things that aren't time critical will be slowed down, but I'll bet the list grows longer the week after next - especially if Musk does like he usually does and doubles down on what he said and attacks his critics.

      I'm sure he'll just claim it is woke politics for Apple and Disney - after all Disney is the favorite target of the anti-woke crusaders, and Apple has a LGBT CEO making them an easy target. But they will be far from the only companies in the tech and entertainment industries to pull out when this is all said and done. Hopefully this time they remain pulled out, and don't come back after a few months when no one is paying attention like they did last time they pulled their advertising.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: More are piling on

        "especially if Musk does like he usually does and doubles down on what he said and attacks his critics.

        "

        That could happen since he will be a bit depressed by exploding yet another grain silo this morning.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: More are piling on

        "and Apple has a LGBT CEO making them an easy target."

        I don't even have to go there to think Tim hasn't been the best CEO for Apple. For a company with so much IP, Mr. Cook can see over the top of the iPhone to broader horizons.

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: More are piling on

          Wow.

          Why do you think the CEO does everything at the company and the employees are basically parasites who contribute nothing ?

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: More are piling on

            "Why do you think the CEO does everything at the company and the employees are basically parasites who contribute nothing ?"

            If you are responding to my comment, yes. Ok, not really, but the employees aren't the ones pointing the direction of the company and which product lines get more budget than others. It's the CEO in consultation with other senior executives whose job it is to make the top level business decisions, not the rank and file.

  21. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    How come theres no mention of the Swedish Union action against Tesla ?

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "How come theres no mention of the Swedish Union action against Tesla ?"

      Post a link.

      I almost never see news items from Sweden. News agencies outside of Scandinavia aren't pulling those things off the Wire.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/union-pressure-tesla-grows-sweden-dockworkers-expand-strike-2023-11-17/

  22. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Why is IBM advertising on X in the first place ? Do they really think anybody on X is really going to buy a million dollar Websphere license after reading other brilliance on X ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's probably one of the few places where you're likely to get the eyeballs of weird tech-bro billionaires with that kind of money to spend. It's probably also a great place to advertise nuclear bunkers.

      Bit of a niche, though.

  23. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Is Elon Musk going the same was as Henry Ford, as in "everyone knows he's a nazi but nobody cares because he's rich"?

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "People I don't agree with are all Nazis".

  24. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    "PS: Readers will no doubt know of IBM's history with Nazi Germany: Big Blue's European subsidiaries supplied calculating machines to the German government in and around World War II. By 1941, the US corporation had cut ties with Hitler's administration. Decades on, IBM has said it "deplores the Nazi regime and its atrocities."

    What was the point and relevance of including this, apart from doing a bit of mudslinging?

  25. snow20191102

    Anyone heard of Islam?

    I am more than sure they are anti-semitic, and are around in big numbers.

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