Twitter / X Admits Displaying Nazi Content Next to Apple Ads

The social media platform accuses Media Matters of attempting to drive away its advertisers.

Twitter / X Admits Displaying Nazi Content Next to Apple Ads
Twitter / X Admits Displaying Nazi Content Next to Apple Ads

Twitter / X is filing a lawsuit against the media watchdog group Media Matters for its Nov. 16 report, which revealed that the social media platform featured ads from major companies alongside Nazi content. The report surfaced just one day after Twitter / X owner Elon Musk endorsed an anti-Semitic conspiracy, leading significant advertisers like Apple and Disney to withdraw.

Twitter / X Admits Displaying Nazi Content Next to Apple Ads

X filed a lawsuit in Texas on Monday, accusing Media Matters of “manufacturing” the screenshots in its report, which depicted advertisers’ posts alongside white nationalist content. Twitter / X alleges that this was a deliberate and malicious attack aimed at “driving advertisers from the platform and destroying X Corp.

Musk posted on Twitter / X over the weekend that the moment the court opens on Monday, X Corp will initiate a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company.

Unfortunately for Musk, the lawsuit’s “thermonuclear” nature is open to debate.

What Does the Lawsuit Between Twitter / X and Media Matters Entail?

Twitter / X asserts that the screenshots in Media Matters’ recent report were not fake or manipulated using image editing software. In fact, it affirms their authenticity, confirming that Media Matters did observe Apple, Bravo, Oracle, Xfinity, and IBM advertisements next to posts celebrating Nazism on Twitter / X.

The lawsuit contends that Media Matters viewed advertisers’ content alongside Nazi content by employing profiles active for over 30 days, effectively “bypassing X’s ad filter for new users.” These profiles selectively followed accounts from prominent advertisers or those known for producing extreme fringe content. Additionally, the social media platform alleges that Media Matters excessively scrolled and refreshed its feed, leading to a higher number of ads viewed per hour compared to most users.

Twitter / X is pursuing damages and the removal of Media Matters’ report, a move that will undoubtedly attract a larger audience to read it.

Not Exactly ‘Thermonuclear

The lawsuit tries to portray Media Matter’s utilization of Twitter / X as manipulating the platform’s algorithm, asserting that the outcomes were “inorganic” and “uncommon.” Nevertheless, this doesn’t dismiss the reality that advertisers and Nazi content were displayed side by side. It’s also plausible that a long-standing user might follow both white supremacist and big brand accounts.

Additional Twitter / X users have reported receiving ads when searching for anti-Semitic phrases, including posts from the German government, an Israeli oil and gas company, New Jersey Tourism, and The Athletic.

It’s noteworthy that Twitter / X’s assertion that Media Matters followed accounts “known to produce extreme fringe content” suggests that the platform has permitted these profiles to persist in posting white supremacist content, gaining notoriety over time. As of now, half of the accounts Media Matters captured posting Nazi content are still active.

In the midst of this, Twitter / X CEO Linda Yaccarino acknowledged that the platform did display big advertisers’ posts alongside white supremacist content but sought to downplay it by asserting that almost nobody saw it.

Yaccarino posted on Monday, “No genuine user on X observed IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article. Only 2 users saw Apple’s ad next to the content, at least one of which was Media Matters.

Nevertheless, the concerns probably revolve less around how many people saw it and more about the possibility of it happening in the first place.

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