Tag: linda yaccarino
Linda Yaccarino

Musk's X: 'Hitler Was Right' Didn't 'Violate Our Safety Policies'

X's internal reporting system repeatedly responded that posts claiming “Hitler was right” and that there needs to be a “final solution” regarding Jewish people don't violate the platform’s “safety policies.” This isn’t an isolated example: The Center for Countering Digital Hate similarly released a report today finding that X has failed to remove neo-Nazi content on its platform in numerous cases.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino has tried to mollify advertisers by claiming that her company “opposes antisemitism in all its forms” and “will always work to fight it.” But X has repeatedly shown that it cares little about antisemtism and bigotry on its platform. And owner Elon Musk has repeatedly engaged with antisemitism. This has created a toxic atmosphere for brands, where their advertisements appear directly on pro-Hitler, Holocaust denial, white nationalist, pro-violence, and neo-Nazi accounts. Ads have also recently appeared next to unhinged conspiracy theories about Jewish people and 9/11.

X claims in its “safety” policies section that it does not allow “Hateful conduct,” saying: “You may not directly attack other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” It specifically states that violations of this policy include “genocides, (e.g., the Holocaust).”

The Center for Countering Digital Hate released a report today finding that “researchers identified a total of 140 posts that promoted antisemitism, including racist caricatures of Jewish people and claims that Jews control the world. X continued hosting this content in 85.00% (119) of cases.”

In light of Musk’s interactions with antisemitic users surrounding the “BanTheADL” campaign, Media Matters ran a test of X’s system for reporting policy violations by flagging 28 posts that specifically claimed that “Hitler was right” or a “final solution” is needed for Jewish people. X’s reporting system responded in five instances by telling us those don’t violate the platform’s policies.

At time of publishing, there have been zero instances of X telling us a post with either of those phrases was a violation, though three posts are no longer available: X told us it took action against one account based on “different reports we received about their behavior” and two reported posts no longer exist due to the tweet having “been deleted” and the account “no longer exists.” X took no apparent action nor responded to reports on the remaining posts that we flagged.

The five posts that X told us didn't violate their policies are:

  • Based_bigfoot wrote: “@elonmusk We really need to solve this problem. We need, like, a final solution.” (X's response.)
  • Dirlewanger8814 wrote: “@I98Kev @elonmusk @bennyjohnson It happened because Hitler was right about everything and most of his people knew it.” (X's response.)
  • HCollinns wrote: “@Resurrec_Ted @KeithWoodsYT [ADL CEO Jonathan] Greenblatt - proving Hitler was right one tweet at a time.” (X's response.)
  • OrganicReportin wrote: “@elonmusk Elon most the mainstream media are jews. Hitler was right. Also only 270.000 jew were in EUROPE IN THE 1940S. So who do you think BS the whole world telling us 6 million we in Europe who were killed? fake news from the jews. You ban on this and you too are owned by jews.” (X's response.)
  • PastorJim316 wrote: “@G_U_N_N_A_R_ A final solution for the ADL problem is needed.” (X's response.)

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Musk's 'X' Placed Major Ads On Account Of Antisemite Promoting Violence

Musk's 'X' Placed Major Ads On Account Of Antisemite Promoting Violence

X (formerly Twitter) has been placing ads for major brands like MLB, Bayer, Tyson Foods, and eBay on the account of Stew Peters, a white nationalist streamer who uses the social platform to endorse the killings of politicians and LGBTQ advocates. Peters has over 400,000 followers on his account, which he uses to attack people for being Jewish, and recently wrote of the Elon Musk-backed “BanTheADL” campaign: “The ADL controlling free speech has gone on long enough. The final solution should be @elonmusk banning the @ADL from twitter/@x.”

X CEO Linda Yaccarino has been claiming that her platform is a safe place for brands. She recently tweeted that X has a “commitment to brand safety” and told CNBC in a recent interview that companies are “protected from the risk of being next to” toxic content and, “By all objective metrics, X is a much healthier and safer platform than it was a year ago.”

That’s false: Media Matters and other observers have shown that X remains a toxic environment, especially for advertisers. Since Elon Musk took over the company, X has placed ads for numerous brands directly on pro-Hitler, Holocaust denial, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi accounts. Ads have also appeared next to unhinged conspiracy theories about Jewish people and 9/11.

Peters is a far-right conspiracy theorist, white nationalist, and Rumble host who believes that politicians, pro-vaccine advocates, and journalists must be executed.

Peters was previously banned on X when it was known as Twitter, but he was able to reopen an account under Musk. During his time on X, he has authored numerous posts that have spread false claims and conspiracy theories, including recently claiming that a laser weapon caused the Lahaina wildfires.

He also uses his account to attack people for being Jewish and promote white nationalism. He once posted a celebratory picture of Hitler, writing: “Say what you will about Hitler, but people turned out for his rallies.”

He wrote of the Holocaust: “The Covid bioweapon genocide is significantly WORSE than the holocaust in terms of worldwide reach and number of deaths.”

Despite (or maybe because of) his toxic background, numerous political figures have appeared on his program. They include: U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Bob Good (R-VA), Pete Sessions (R-TX), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ); Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Peters recently spoke at the ReAwaken America tour in Las Vegas along with Donald Trump Jr., Lara Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Michael Flynn, among others. During that speech, Peters again called for the hanging of Anthony Fauci.

Peters openly promotes violence on his account, which is a violation of X’s purported rules. X, however, has repeatedly failed to enforce its rules under Musk and Yaccarino’s watch.

X placed ads for major advertisers on Peters' violent posts and account 

We looked at two recent examples of Peters promoting violence and found numerous ads for major brands directly on those posts. We also looked at Peters’ account and found numerous other brand ads.

Pro-LGBTQ killing. Peters posted an image of a flier calling for the murder of pro-LGBTQ advocates, including the anti-bullying group GLSEN and Target, because they support transgender rights. He wrote: “Apparently some fine Americans are circulating some literature at their local Target store.”

Brand ads on that post include:

While advertising for Bayer — a pharmaceutical company that helped produce a COVID-19 vaccine — has appeared on his account, Peters has said drug companies involved in the manufacturing of the vaccine should receive “the death penalty.”

Pro-politician killing. Peters posted an image of gallows with the caption “government repair kit.” He wrote: “We have a lot of repairing to do.”

Brand ads on that post include:

Peters’ account is filled with other calls for violence. Those include him posting a video of politicians and reporters making pro-COVID-19 vaccine remarks and writing, “Every single one of these people deserve the rope”; and him saying of non-binary singer Sam Smith, “Any serious society would give this demon the Old Yeller treatment.”

Peters also recently suggested violence against California state Rep. Lori Wilson (D), posting on X regarding a speech she made supporting gender affirming care: “Time for a trip to the woodshed.” (Replies to Peters included “gallows,” “hang,” and “to the big tree.”)

We also found ads for numerous brands on Peters’ account page:

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Linda Yaccarino

Musk's 'X' Places Major League Ads Next To Unhinged Antisemitic Posts

X (formerly known as Twitter) has been placing ads for major brands like the NFL, MLB, T-Mobile, and eBay alongside content pushing unhinged conspiracy theories about Jewish people orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. Despite X CEO Linda Yaccarino’s recent claims that her company “opposes antisemitism in all its forms” and “will always work to fight it,” these placements serve as another warning to advertisers about the hollowness of her promises.

Antisemites have long alleged that nefarious Jewish forces are secretly behind world events, including the 9/11 attacks.

Media Matters and other observers have documented how X has remained a dangerous cesspool, especially for advertisers. Since Musk took over the company, X has placed ads for numerous brands directly on pro-Hitler, Holocaust denial, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi accounts.

In recent weeks, X owner Elon Musk has given fuel to antisemitism on the platform by showing support for the “#BanTheADL.”

Yaccarino has attempted to do damage control by claiming that “X opposes antisemitism in all its forms.” In a post to the platform, she also wrote, “Antisemitism is evil and X will always work to fight it on our platform. And X is also always open to proactively working together in that fight with all groups.” She recently told CNBC that companies are “protected from the risk of being next to” toxic content.

But Media Matters found on September 11 that X has been placing ads for numerous brands next to openly antisemitic content, including the hashtag “JewsDid911.” (In some instances, that hashtag also appeared next to the Musk-promoted “BanTheADL” hashtag.) Ads appearing next to antisemitic claims about 9/11 included:

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Linda Yaccarino

New CEO Yaccarino Is Lying About Hate Speech On Musk's 'X' Site (VIDEO)

X Corp. CEO Linda Yaccarino, the head of the social media site formerly known as Twitter, sat down for a lengthy interview Thursday on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, during which she made a variety of obviously false statements about the platform and its performance since Elon Musk took over in October 2022. The business-channel interview should make it clear to any corporate executives watching that the site continues to be a virtual cesspool following Musk’s rebranding, and that Yaccarino’s appointment as CEO has predictably changed nothing.

Twitter is a more dangerous place today

When CNBC anchor Sara Eisen asked about major brands’ reluctance to advertise on the site due to the proliferation of hate speech, Yaccarino responded, “By all objective metrics, X is a much healthier and safer platform than it was a year ago. Since [Musk’s] acquisitions, we have built brand safety and content moderation tools that have never existed before at this company.”

In fact, academic research earlier this year showed that hate speech has nearly doubled on the site since Musk’s takeover, as he reinstated previously banned accounts and disingenuously declared a policy of protecting “free speech” on the platform. Meanwhile, just in the last two weeks, X Corp. sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate for their work showing that the site has failed to take action in response to antisemitic and anti-Muslim posts.

Media Matters data confirmed that under Yaccarino’s leadership, anti-LGBTQ hate is still prevalent on the platform: Nearly one-third of the top 200 accounts that tweeted about pride during June — Yaccarino’s first month as CEO — were right-wing accounts that have posted anti-LGBTQ content on Twitter.

In addition, all the content moderation systems that Twitter might possess still have a weakness: Elon Musk himself and his propensity to reverse content moderation decisions, including on hate speech. Caving to the demands of right-wing political and media figures, he recently reinstated a previously-banned account from an infamous conspiracy theorist who had posted child sexual abuse material to the site.

Ads for major brands end up in bad places

Yaccarino boasted that major brands were returning to the site, naming Coca-Cola, Visa, and State Farm among her examples. She said, “They’re coming back — the last bunch of weeks, continued revenue growth,” and explained that for the last eight weeks she has been personally speaking with corporate executives to who had either “maybe paused or reduced spending, to remind them about the power of the platform, and the power of the user base, and the economic potential of them partnering with us again.”

It’s worth noting, however, that the three specific brands she claimed were “coming back” to the platform never fully left in the first place. While they may have reduced spending, a Media Matters analysis of advertising data from Sensor Tower shows that they still advertised on the platform to some extent after Musk took over.

These companies should consider exactly what the “power of the platform” that Yaccarino touts will mean for their brand identities. Media Matters has spotted ads from Coca-Cola and State Farm right next to posts those companies might find objectionable, including vaccine misinformation from an account Musk had previously reinstated and infighting among white supremacists.

Media Matters has repeatedly shown that ads from major companies have continued to appear next to harmful content since the platform was rebranded over two weeks ago. We identified ads for brands including Honeywell, Discovery, National Women’s Soccer League, the Pittsburgh Steelers, USA Today, and Manchester City on the verified account of the National Socialist Network, a leading neo-Nazi group that engages in violence and has connections to terrorism.

And in a short period of scrolling through the site, we found an ad for Comcast next to content from election denier Roger Stone and QAnon influencer Jeffrey Pedersen (known online as “intheMatrixxx”); an ad from Disney next to a post from QAnon-promoting figure Brian Lupo (“CannCon”); a Samsung ad next to a post from anti-Muslim extremist Laura Loomer; an ad from Apple next to a tweet from right-wing blogger David Vance that amplified Tucker Carlson’s interview with misogynist Tristan Tate; and ads for Mondelez International’s Ritz Crackers and Chips Ahoy alongside content from right-wing psychologist and budding climate denier Jordan Peterson.

Elon Musk is still the problem

Eisen also asked about companies’ hesitancy to spend money on X because of Musk specifically, as he continues to amplify conspiracy theories with no apparent regard for their concerns. Yaccarino only made it clearer that he has none, and that she cannot control what Musk says or does. (This was confirmed in a June 1 federal court filing, in which lawyers for the company told the court that hiring Yaccarino as CEO “will not result in a different content-moderation strategy for Twitter, a company that will still be owned by Musk and led by a person chosen by Musk.”)

SARA EISEN: But I think there are questions with your boss’s own tweets. I was talking to a brand yesterday that scaled back advertising on X. Why? They said, well, the head of the company sometimes tweets things that we think are in violation of their own safety practices. And in an interview with my colleague David Faber, Elon said in response to a question about tweeting a conspiracy theory and whether that was risking losing advertisers, ‘I don’t care, I want to say what I say, and I lose money, so be it.’ Doesn’t that make your job impossible?

LINDA YACCARINO: It definitely does not make my job impossible. I think what it — it fuels more of an ambition for my job to make sure that everyone, including Elon, is entitled to their own opinion. Now, we all do things that we reconsider at other times. I think you remember, when I — in my early days of meeting Elon — I interviewed him at a marketing conference in Miami, and we had a little bit of a debate of rethinking tweets maybe, I don’t know, after 3 a.m. in the morning.

EISEN: Does he give you a heads-up on the tweets, Elon?

YACCARINO: I would never expect him to do so. I would never. And again, the real-time nature and beauty of X — clearing your tweets with someone is much less effective.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.