Less than a week after X Corp. (formerly Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino boasted the platform is "a much healthier and safer" place since Elon Musk took it private and that "99.9%" of the content posted on the platform was brand safe, some of the 0.1% apparently slipped through.
According to an analysis released this morning by watchdog Media Matters For America, Twitter has been monetizing less than savory tweets by placing ads for blue-chip brands on the account on pro-fascist, pro-Hitler account New American Union (@NewUnion76). At least long enough for Media Matters to grab screenshots of pro-Nazi, anti-semitic hate posts, along with ads from major brands, including quite a few big media brands:
I just checked and the account has been suspended, with no indication about when or explicitly why, other than it violated "the Twitter rules."
Twitter rules? I guess they meant X rules, whatever they are -- but one thing is clear, the timing of the report doesn't exactly support Yaccarino's spin about X's brand safety.
I mean, what brand wants to be associated with X-rated content, especially when it's adjacent to posts like these:
"New American Union is a pro-fascist account that celebrates Hitler and his National Socialist Party (aka the Nazi Party)," reads the Media Matters report, adding, "It’s been 'verified since April 2023' and has thousands of followers, meaning that the account meets at least two of the criteria for X’s revenue sharing program — and that money from X’s advertisers could eventually end up in the account’s pockets."
Look, I get it. It's hard to moderate and police big social media platforms for hate speech and other unsafe content for brands, especially after you've decimated your content moderation, brand safety and engineering teams.
Just don't go on CNBC squawking about what a great job you're doing, because you only get so many shots at being trustworthy. And right now, it looks like Yaccarino is squandering some of hers.
Addendum: After this "Red, White & Blog" was published, CNN published its own report that at least two of the brands showing up on the New American Union posts have suspended their advertising on X.