Democrats’ Need To Censor And Spread Disinformation Behind Media War On Elon Musk’s X
We could not replicate Media Matters’ finding of corporate ads placed near neo-Nazi and white supremacist content
On Thursday, Media Matters For America published an article alleging that the social media platform X has been placing ads for major companies next to pro-Nazi content. “As X owner Elon Musk continues his descent into white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories,” wrote Media Matters reporter Eric Hananoki, “his social media platform has been placing ads for major brands like Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity (Comcast) next to content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.”
In response, major companies, including Disney, Warner Bros, Comcast, IBM, and Apple, have pulled ads from X in a blow to the company’s revenue.
However, according to the X Safety team, Media Matters’ report was done by making a fake X account and then curating posts and ads to manipulate the account’s timeline. “These contrived experiences could be applied to any platform,” X argues.
X’s analytics suggest that Media Matters repeatedly refreshed the timeline of the account it created to cause X to generate ads near hateful posts. The account, X says, saw thirteen times the number of ads a median X user sees.
According to X, in at least one instance, the Media Matters author was the only user to see a specific ad placement. “Of the 5.5 billion ad impressions on X that day, less than 50 total ad impressions were served against all of the organic content featured in the Media Matters article,” X Safety wrote.
We should not blindly trust X’s defense of its ad policy. X obviously has a bias in how it measures its trust and safety.
And so Public attempted to reproduce Media Matters’ methods to see if we found ads next to the content in question. We created an account and followed eleven of the neo-Nazi accounts in Media Matters’ report starting yesterday, November 19.
After refreshing both X’s “For You” page and “Following” page more than ten times and scrolling through the timeline each time, we did not observe ads next to white nationalist or pro-Nazi content.
We followed more extremist accounts and repeated this process after following thirty accounts. Still, we did not find ads on the timeline. We also opened each account’s page and did not observe ads there. Nor did we find ads under the replies to their posts.