Twitter has been found running adverts for companies such as The Wall Street Journal, Nokia, and Mailchimp in the reply threads of documented Holocaust deniers.
While not only proving exceptionally brand unsafe for these advertisers, the evidence presents another problem — Musk has said that Twitter will rollout a revenue-sharing model for adverts in the reply threads of users subscribed to Twitter Blue.
To be eligible, the account must be a subscriber to Twitter Blue Verified
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2023
Media Matters for America, a not-for-profit research and information centre, saw the ads underneath tweets from, and in the reply threads of some heinous accounts.
E. Michael Jones, for example, is a Holocaust denier who routinely attacks Jewish people and claimed that the “Holocaust narrative” was created to help Jewish people impose their views on America. Here is one of the adverts featured with his tweets.
Media Matters has a host of other examples, including ads running alongside tweets from British Neo-Nazi Mark Collett and Swedish far-right commentators Lana Lokteff and Henrik Palmgren, the former believing that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were used for delousing clothing or as bomb shelters.
It has also run ads next to tweets from the The Institute for Historical Review, which the Southern Poverty Law Centre described as “a pseudo-academic organization that claims to seek ‘truth and accuracy in history,’ but whose real purpose is to promote Holocaust denial and defend Nazism.”
Crucially, all of these accounts are subscribed to Twitter Blue, which would make them eligible for revenue sharing.
It should come as no surprise then that more than half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers have stopped spending on the platform.
The likes of Coca-Cola, Unilever, Jeep, and Wells Fargo, along with more than 600 other brands, pulled their ad dollars in January, according to research from Pathmatics.
As a result, Twitter’s ad revenue dropped by more than 60 per cent from October through to 25 January.
Wells Fargo said it “paused our paid advertising on Twitter” but continues to use it as a social channel to engage with customers.
All the while, Musk has been tweeting things like,”The worst offender in US government censorship & media manipulation is an obscure agency called GEC.”
The Global Engagement Centre has produced reports about Russian state-sponsored disinformation online, for example.
He also tweeted that “Going forward, Twitter will be broadly accepting of different values, rather than trying to impose its own specific values on the world.” Whether that specifically extends to Holocaust denial is unclear but events on the platform would suggest it does.
He also tweeted that “The Woke Stasi felt the heat today 🔥” following a Senate hearing with now-sacked Twitter execs about working with the US government during COVID to suppress ‘dissenting’ views that it wasn’t a global pandemic and was created in a lab in Wuhan. The only finding of substance was that former US President Donald Trump asked Twitter to remove a mean tweet about him from model Chrissy Teigen.
Finally, he retweeted a reply to his own tweet from conservative radio and TV show host — i.e. a member of the press — Buck Sexton.
So many high IQ people recognize the press as their emotional and cultural enforcers, so they become deeply attached to the propaganda machine-
Facts be damned.
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) February 12, 2023
We would be surprised if any advertisers are thinking about coming back to Twitter any time soon.
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