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EU Commission advises services to stop advertising on Elon Musk's X

X is displayed on a phone.

The European Commission has suspended publicity on X (formerly Twitter) over increases in disinformation and hate speech on the social media platform.

Spokesman Johannes Bahrke said the Commission had "advised services to refrain from advertising at this stage".

"We have concerns that such content appears, that our content appears in an inappropriate context and thus affects the effectiveness of our communications and our messages," said Bahrke.

He added that these were internal guidelines that are revised frequently depending on the evolution of the problem.

While the spokesman would not comment on the specific reasons why they had chosen to pause advertisements, he said that the change in guidance was recent.

The announcement came after the US nonprofit organisation Media Matters found that X had placed adverts for major brands such as Apple, Bravo, IBM, Oracle and Xfinity next to pro-Nazi content.

The report prompted company IBM to suspend all advertisements on X pending an investigation into the issue.

They're not the only advertiser fleeing the platform: owner Elon Musk said in a July social media post that the platform was in "negative cash flow" over a 50 per cent drop in advertising revenue and heavy debt load.

The European Commission also faces a legal complaint filed by the non-profit European Centre for Digital Rights (noyb) over its alleged use of microtargeted advertisements on X about a controversial child sexual abuse bill.

Noyb claims that the Commission targeted users based on political views and religious beliefs, showing adverts to people who weren't interested in keywords like Brexit, #Qatargate, Marine Le Pen, Vox, Christian, and Giorgia Meloni among others.

Bahrke said, however, that the new guidance wasn't directly related to the spending and buying by the directorate general cited in the complaint.

A recent report found that X, which was acquired by Elon Musk last year, had failed to remove hate speech and misinformation from the platform.

X has repeatedly come under fire over Musk's changes, specifically related to content moderation.

Posted on 17 Nov 2023 16:11 link