Several high-profile advertisers, including Disney, Forbes, and Mazda, have paused their ad campaigns or pulled their ads entirely from Twitter, due to child pornography requests on the site.
Twitter accounts exposed in new research from cybersecurity group Ghost Data on online child sexual abuse, ads for more than 30 advertisers including Disney, Coca-Cola, and Children’s Hospital appeared on accounts promoting child exploitation. sexually.
For example, a user who said they “trade teen/kids stuff” had a promotional Tweet next to the post for popular shoe and accessory store Cole Haan.
“We were shocked to learn that the company’s ads appeared alongside these comments,” said David Maddox, president of the Cole Haan brand. “Either Twitter will address this issue, or we will fix it in any way we can, including not buying ads on the site,” Maddox added.
But how did Twitter respond to that? “The company has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation of children and is increasing its efforts to protect children through, among other things, hiring employees whose sole responsibility is to reduce it,” the short tweet site released in a statement.
According to Twitter’s online transparency reports, the company suspended more than 1 million accounts in 2018 for promoting or engaging in child sexual exploitation.
But a study conducted in late August revealed “difficulties faced by Twitter in discovering information that could be interpreted as child abuse.”
This was confirmed by the recent “JustData” research, which was subject to a Reuters review, and documents over the course of 20 days last September the exchange of more than 500 accounts of content encouraging child sexual abuse, as the authors of the research claimed that “Twitter” failed to delete Approximately 70 percent of accounts over the course of the study.
This was not denied by “Twitter” in full, as the site sent an email to its advertisers, saying that it “discovered that ads were displayed within profiles that openly sell or encourage child sexual abuse content.”
For some advertising companies, this recognition was not enough for them. A Mazda spokeswoman said the company had “blocked its ads from appearing on Twitter”. Disney pledged to redouble its efforts to “ensure that the digital platforms on which we advertise strengthen their efforts to prevent such errors from recurring.”
We do not believe that advertisers stopping or withdrawing their advertising campaigns from Twitter will have a significant impact on the site and its profits in the long term.
An example of this, from the history of advertisers with technology platforms, that “about 5 years ago, “YouTube” was subjected to similar criticism for displaying content related to alcohol and weapons in front of children, as a result of these criticisms, some advertisers withdrew their ads from the famous video platform, while the crisis evaporated quickly and did not affect On the advertisements inside “YouTube” and not on its profits in an apparent manner.
We believe that Twitter’s crises go beyond that point, in light of its ongoing war with businessman Elon Musk, after he withdrew from the deal to acquire the site, claiming that the fake accounts were “significantly higher” than the 5% estimates revealed by Twitter. ” publicly, which actually affected the tweets site’s growth and earnings.
Regarding the crisis associated with advertisements with child pornography requests, Twitter will have to make adjustments to its “algorithms” to make the advertisement fit the content of the account on the account. Example “If the ad is for a cigarette company, it may appear with content that talks about cigarettes, which means that the ad is more likely to appear in front of a smoker than a non-smoker.”
With regard to some companies withdrawing their ads, we do not imagine that the matter is infringing on a marketing ploy and the desire of these companies to preserve their image in front of their consumers after criticism was directed at “Twitter” for allowing content that sexually exploits children on the site, expecting that the contract will return as it is after the passage of a wave criticism.