X Media™ Company

The ADL Resumes X Advertising After Hate Speech Clash

It seems that Elon Musk’s recent efforts to meet with community leaders and address concerns around antisemitism have appeased the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), with the organization issuing a statement today in regards to X’s progress, and its subsequent recommendations for prospective X advertisers.

The ADL has come under fire from Musk in recent weeks amid concerns that the group had been pushing advertisers to boycott X, due to changes to the app’s moderation rules, which the ADL had found has led to more instances of hate speech in X posts.

Musk refuted the ADL’s claims, and even threatened to sue the organization for loss of earnings as a result of its reports.

But for now at least, the two sides seem to have called a truce, based on X’s stated efforts to improve, and combat hate speech.

As per the ADL:   

“We appreciate X’s stated intent over the last few weeks to address antisemitism and hate on the platform. This has been useful; more needs to be done; and, as we have with other companies, in the spirit of collaboration, we are hopeful that we can continue to engage with X on this important matter.”

The ADL hasn’t detailed any specific actions that X has undertaken, outside of meeting with the ADL and Jewish leaders to discuss its efforts. X itself has repeatedly claimed that hate speech is well down in the app, year-over-year, but third-party analysis suggests the opposite, which was the basis of the ADL’s original criticism of the company.

Whether X has been able to convince the ADL of this is unclear, though the threat of legal action does seem to have played at least some part in the ADL issuing an official statement.

“To be clear, any allegation that ADL has somehow orchestrated a boycott of X or caused billions of dollars of losses to the company or is “pulling the strings” for other advertisers is false. Indeed, we ourselves were advertising on the platform until the anti-ADL attacks began a few weeks ago. We now are preparing to do so again to bring our important message on fighting hate to X and its users.”

So even the ADL itself is now looking to run ads on X again, which is a big win for the app in convincing others of its brand safety focus.

Again, X maintains that it’s doing more than ever to ensure hate speech is addressed, while it’s also established new third-party verification partnerships to assure advertisers that their content won’t be shown alongside potentially offensive material. X is also developing new brand safety tiers to help businesses avoid potentially problematic content, and it seems that, in combination, all of these efforts have been enough to convince the ADL that it is making progress.

Given Musk’s public criticisms of the ADL, this is a significant update, and it’ll be interesting to see if it has the kind of impact on X’s ad business as he seems to believe the ADL’s initial statements had.  

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