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Twitter shows ads next to tweets from Holocaust deniers

Twitter shows ads for companies including Nokia, The Wall Street Journaland Mailchimp alongside tweets from Holocaust deniers, according to a report by non-profit watchdog group Media Matters for America.

Media Matters reviewed five Twitter accounts belonging to neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers and found that advertisements for prominent companies were placed next to tweets from the accounts. The reach of the five Twitter accounts, which include writers, a “pseudo-academic organization,” and white nationalist YouTubers, ranges from a few thousand followers to tens of thousands.

All five accounts subscribe to Twitter Blue, the subscription service that has become one of Elon Musk’s top priorities since acquiring the company. Earlier this month, Musk tweeted that Blue subscribers would get a share of revenue for ads placed under their tweets.

The Media Matters report is the second report released this week about ads appearing next to disturbing content on Twitter.

An investigation starting Thursday found by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) that Twitter benefited from ads placed next to accounts previously banned but reinstated under Musk’s ownership of the platform. The CCDH estimated Twitter’s profits from the ads at up to $19 million a year from a selection of 10 such accounts, including misogynistic influencer Andrew Tate, far-right influencer Baked Alaska, and Andrew Anglin, founder of neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer . The CCDH used a combination of tweet impressions, ad frequency, and data from analytics firm Brandwatch to estimate ad revenue from the 10 accounts.

Companies whose ads appeared alongside recovered accounts included Apple TV, Amazon, the NFL and Fiverr, which said it would stop advertising on Twitter, according to The Washington Post.

A major advertiser concern after Musk acquired Twitter was that the billionaire’s approach to “free speech” would make the platform inhospitable to brands. Last fall, after Musk’s acquisition became final, several of the biggest ad agencies advised their clients to pause their Twitter spending, saying it was “high risk.”

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