Elon Musk's X Denies Promoting False Content Amidst Growing Criticism

Elon Musk’s X platform is being called out again for failing to play its vital role in following the right measures for brand safety.

The news came in the form of a report by NewsGuard which alleged that the app was engaged in strategic ad placement models where misinformed viral content featuring data about the Gaza conflict was being promoted.

As it is, Musk and his top line of executives at X have been slammed left and right for not doing enough to filter out controversial posts as well as those that are inaccurate. And to see it promoting such content with ads from top brands is shocking.

Last week, IBM slammed the company for using its ads to promote fake viral content of the same nature and now NewsGuard has found close to 200 ads similarly being displayed on misinformed posts.

The media outlet delineated how the period between Nov 13 to Nov 22 had analysts noting the shocking behavior where ads on viral tweets featuring false or misleading data were being promoted instead of teams working on their removal.

We’ve already seen leading names in the industry withdraw their ads on the app due to such behavior and that is what led the current CEO to take swift measures to try and curb the situation. Therefore, seeing the report from NewsGuard is not helping Musk’s company in any way, shape, or form, experts believe.

X has been quick to refute such claims. They deny the report that highlighted a whopping number of posts where ads from 86 different brands were getting promoted. This also included big names in the educational world and more of those having to do with the government too.

To be more specific, they’ve gone the extra mile to detail the complete lists in public so users can see for themselves if an ad was displayed in the post’s reply stream. Such ads may give creators the chance to claim an advertising revenue share from X after such content gets promoted.

This would only happen if more requirements regarding the creator ad revenue share program were met. But whatever the case may be, profiting off of false content is definitely a drastic measure.

Seeing posts of this nature be displayed to more than 92 million individuals is worrisome and while views increase for X, the cost at which it’s taking place cannot be sidelined.

There does seem to be one positive aspect related to X and its moderation ordeal. It was enlightening for the media outlet to see the company’s fact checker or Community notes call out fake posts. For those who might not be aware, X relies heavily on this for moderating content online.

But why X chose to promote such content and allow it to be eligible for monetization is baffling for obvious reasons. What they should have done instead is take it down immediately as that’s a part of their own content moderation policy. However, in this case, no rule was applied.

So many ads for some of the leading brands were seemingly found on X having Community Notes and some of them featured without it. Therefore, the flaws are plenty and they need to be addressed, experts feel and when you’re accused by a leading news outlet of failing to follow brand safety concerns and take the right measures, it’s alarming.

Having advertising partners drop out has already been worrisome and now this is worsening X’s image. So plans of winning back advertisers seem to be on hold for now.

Musk and his team have already threatened to file a lawsuit against Media Matters who began the whole facade of highlighting the company’s shocking ordeals. They felt the time had come to wake up and shake up X who called the act nothing but defaming as it lost top advertisers after that.

X has tried to cover up so many of its actions by placing such behavior under the banner of free speech. It’s like a repetitive tagline that Musk loves to use as that’s been his stance and belief since day one. Clearly, it’s no longer working.

Photo: Unsplash

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