Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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After Snapchat and Amazon ads scandal, Twitter pledges to advertisers that it will introduce new controls

Twitter told advertisers in an email Thursday that it will roll out new controls as early as next week to allow companies to block their ads from appearing above or below tweets containing certain keywords.

The new controls are part of Twitter’s efforts to reassure advertisers who have pulled their ads from the platform since its purchase last October by billionaire Elon Musk, amid reports from civil rights groups that hate speech has risen since the acquisition and after suspended accounts were reinstated.

Twitter earns nearly 90% of its revenue from selling digital ads. Musk recently attributed the “massive drop in revenue” to civil rights organizations that pressured brands to pause their ads on Twitter.

In a call Thursday with the advertising industry group, a Twitter representative said the platform is considering bringing in content moderators, many of whom will be hired through outside contractors, according to a source familiar with the comments.

A Twitter representative said bringing in content moderators in-house would allow the platform to invest more in moderating moderation for languages ​​other than English, according to the source.

This comes after Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, said that the platform would rely more on automated content moderation. Irwin also said that Twitter’s recent layoffs, which led to 50% staff cuts, did not significantly harm the moderation team and those working in critical areas such as child safety.

An email sent to advertisers on Thursday said a modified version of Twitter’s subscription service, called Twitter Blue, will begin rolling out on Friday.

Subscribing will allow accounts to get a verified mark. Individual accounts will get a blue checkmark, while gold and gray checkmarks denote business accounts and government accounts, according to the email.

The email said the subscription price would be $7 per month on the web and $11 per month for Apple devices.

The problem with white nationalist accounts

Twitter also told the advertisers that it had removed the ads from said profiles, which reported that the ads appeared on Twitter accounts of white nationalists.

Were ads for Uber, Amazon, and Snapchat; It appeared on the Twitter accounts of prominent white nationalists such as Andrew Anglin, owner of The Daily Stormer, and Patrick Casey, the former leader of Identity Evropa, hate speech leaders who were active again on the platform after “ General pardon” for Musk for banned accounts.

A spokesman for Snapchat, which owns the video messaging app, said it has temporarily suspended its advertising on Twitter until the issue is investigated.

The Twitter email said these accounts are not part of the “reinstatement of pardons,” a reference to Musk’s tweet last month that Twitter would reinstate suspended accounts that did not violate the law.

“We will not reinstate bad actors, spam accounts, and users who have engaged in criminal/illegal activity,” Twitter’s memo to advertisers said.

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