Turns Out X Actually Is A Much Healthier And Safer Platform -- If You're A Nazi

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.

9 comments about "Turns Out X Actually Is A Much Healthier And Safer Platform -- If You're A Nazi".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, August 17, 2023 at 10:40 a.m.

    Joe - would love you to cherry pick Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube the way you obsess over X.  Each platform has hundreds of millions, or billions, of users.  Stuff happens.  Things get through.  There's no perfect monitoring of these platforms to immediately removeful harmful or inappropriate content.  Because I like stupid cat videos, I regularly get really inappropriate animal abuse videos in my FB and Instagram feed or YouTube shorts.  Do I think FB and Instagram YouTube are promoting violence against animals?  No - I report the videos and move on. And every platform has its bad actors.

    X shut down the account - but you always present these articles like Musk is some racist fascist who's purposely trying to promote hate...which seems quite contradictory to X's mantra of being more transparent than any other social platform, hands down.

    As my nonna used to say "When you go looking for trouble, you will find it."

  2. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., August 17, 2023 at 10:47 a.m.

    @Dan Ciccone: I pledge to give equal time coverage to reports on Facebook, IG, YouTube or any other platform if you want to share cherrypick analyses comparable to Media Matters for America's.

  3. Thomas Siebert from BENEVOLENT PROPAGANDA, August 17, 2023 at 11:11 a.m.

    Media Matters is the Meghan Markle of Josef Goebbels. There's a reason almost no place sources them anymore. 

  4. Joshua Chasin from VideoAmp, August 17, 2023 at 11:17 a.m.

    While this post is labelled commentary, and is under the Red, White & Blog banner, I read this as a piece about brand safety, which is a non-trivial issue to advertisers (and thus important to Mediapost's audience.) I have every confidence that if there were similar findings about brand safety on other social platforms, Mediapost would report on them.

    I thought Linda Yaccarino's hire was a solid move for Twitter/X. When you strip away the whirlwind of controversy, their actual core business issue is, they need to sell more advertising; in the context, hiring maybe the best ad sales exec in the business made all the sense in the world. In that light, brand safety issues-- which could prevent the flow of ad dollars to the platform-- is media news.

  5. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., August 17, 2023 at 11:40 a.m.

    @Thomas Siebert: Correction, at least one place still sources them.

  6. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., August 17, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.

    @Thomas Siebert: Actually, here's another place:

  7. cindy johnson from Sampling Advisors replied, August 17, 2023 at 1:59 p.m.

    Let's not pretend X hasnt become a cesspool of disinformation and hate speech. I stopped using it when Musk took over and recently went back to get some contacts for Threads. I was shocked at how ignorant some of the posts were (specifically Trump supporters). I'm for free speech but when people don't believe facts and spread lies, that's not good for our country. He/they need to do better in that regard. 

  8. J W from Unknown Universe, August 17, 2023 at 3:36 p.m.

    I got on Facebook or Meta or whatever the name of their social media space is and I searched the word NAZI and landed on multiple NAZI pages, including Grammar Nazi and others. Facebook is allowing these pages to exist. Did you check their site as well or are you just focused on X?

  9. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., August 17, 2023 at 3:47 p.m.

    @J W from Uknown Universe: We cover the entire advertising and meida-buying marketplace, including Facebook and other social media platforms. This column was about a report conducted by a watchdog group analyzing major brand ads being served on a pro-Nazi account on X's platform. It was conducted following CEO Linda Yaccarino's claim that X is more brand safe now than it was before Elon Musk acquired Twitter.

    If you know of similar studies about Facebook or other platforms, I'd be happy to write about that too.

Next story loading loading..