Musk Monetizes Holocaust Denial On Twitter With Corporate Ads

Musk Monetizes Holocaust Denial On Twitter With Corporate Ads

Elon Musk

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Advertisements for companies including The Wall Street Journal, Nokia, FanDuel, and Thermo Fisher have been appearing on the Twitter accounts of antisemites who have denied the Holocaust. The monetization of accounts run by Holocaust deniers is yetanotherexample of Twitter CEO Elon Musk's reckless attempts to wring money out of the platform.

Twitter profiting from bigoted accounts has been a recurring theme for the company under Musk. Washington Post technology columnist Taylor Lorenz reported yesterday on a new analysis by the Center for Countering Digital Hate which “uncovered multiple examples of advertisements from major national brands, including Amazon, Apple TV, the NFL and Fiverr, that appeared next to content” from 10 previously banned extremist influencers who were reinstated under Musk’s leadership. (Fiverr subsequently said that it stopped Twitter advertising.)

Separately, Media Matters reviewed five different Twitter accounts run by people who have pushed Holocaust denial: Mark Collett (MarkACollett), the Institute for Historical Review (HistoryinReview), E. Michael Jones (EMichaelJones1), Lana Lokteff (LanaLokteff), and Henrik Palmgren (Henrik_Palmgren). Those accounts are also subscribed to Twitter Blue, the paid subscription service introduced by Musk that’s been a boon for scammers, misinformers, and hate speech. Musk recently stated that Twitter Blue accounts will be able to share revenue “that appear in their reply threads.”

We found numerous advertisements while scrolling through their account pages. Those advertisers included but were not limited to the following companies, which spent nearly $30 million combined on Twitter advertising in 2022, according to a Media Matters analysis of Pathmatics data:

The following are brief summaries of the five accounts.

Mark Collett (MarkACollett)

Mark Collett is a British neo-Nazi writer who was the chairman of the youth division of the far-right British National Party (BNP). He has praised Adolf Hitler and reportedly promotedMein Kampf to followers. Collett has also denied the Holocaust, writing in his book that “when it comes to the notion of white guilt, nothing is pushed more strongly nor made more prominent in the minds of Western people than the holocaust. The holocaust is the alleged extermination of six million Jews." He also wrote: "Western man is also brainwashed and enslaved by notions of white guilt that stem from false historical narratives of his colonial past, slavery and the Holocaust.”

The Institute for Historical Review (HistoryinReview)

The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that the Institute for Historical Review “is a pseudo-academic organization that claims to seek ‘truth and accuracy in history,’ but whose real purpose is to promote Holocaust denial and defend Nazism.”

Its account includes such tweets as: “Why is the Holocaust the only historical event you’re not allowed to scrutinize?”; “Why did the Polish Government in Exile never mention the supposed slaughter in Auschwitz until 1945?”; and “While Roosevelt’s record in dealing with the Depression is pretty well known, the remarkable story of how Hitler tackled the crisis is not widely understood or appreciated. How Hitler Tackled Unemployment And Revived Germany’s Economy by Mark Weber.”

E. Michael Jones (EMichaelJones1)

E. Michael Jones is an antisemitic writer and the host of a streaming program who repeatedly attacks Jewish people and the supposed “Holocaust narrative.” He is a Holocaust denier who has claimed, for instance, that there’s been a “creation of myths like the whole World War II story, including the Holocaust, that whole narrative as a way of — that increased Jewish power and the result was that they were able to impose their views more and more on the entire country.”

Lana Lokteff (LanaLokteff) and Henrik Palmgren (Henrik_Palmgren)

Lana Lokteff and Henrik Palmgren are the hosts of Red Ice TV, a network that promotes Holocaust denial. Palmgren, for instance, has tweeted out Holocaust-denying segments on their show about the purported “Truth Behind the Gates of Auschwitz”; “Mass Illusions: The Moon Landing, The Holocaust … ”; and “Making Critical Thinking Illegal: Questioning the Holocaust.”

Rolling Stonereported that “Lokteff has come to question the Holocaust, the government’s mass murder of Native Americans and the Armenian genocide.” She told the publication she “appreciates [Institute for Historical Review Director Mark] Weber for ‘tackling the gas chamber story,’ a reference to the organization’s longstanding efforts to build a case that the Auschwitz gas chambers were used only for delousing clothing, or as bomb shelters. ‘For me,’ says Lokteff, ‘looking into these things doesn’t mean, ‘Oh, I hate Jews.’ It’s like, ‘This many Jews didn’t die, alright?’”\

Research assistance by Sharon Kann

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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Janae Shamp

Arizona state Sen. Janae Shamp

Arizona state Sen. Janae Shamp has promoted antisemitic influencers on her Facebook page. Her sources include a neo-Nazi who previously said he wants a picture of Adolf Hitler in “every classroom”; a Gab user who urged readers to “Fight the Jews on Every Single Issue”; a QAnon influencer who dreamed of the day that Jewish people would be “gone”; and a neo-Nazi radio host who served a prison sentence for issuing violent threats.

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