Big Tech Takes Another Blow: Twitter Blasted After Major Ads Placed Next to Child Porn

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Arabnews24.ca:Wednesday 28 September 2022 11:20 PM: https://sputniknews.com/20220929/big-tech-takes-another-blow-twitter-blasted-after-major-ads-placed-next-to-child-porn-1101326122.html

Big Tech Takes Another Blow: Twitter Blasted After Major Ads Placed Next to Child Porn

Big Tech Takes Another Blow: Twitter Blasted After Major Ads Placed Next to Child Porn

Like all social media platforms, Twitter bans depictions of child sexual exploitation and suspended over one million accounts for violating that rule last year... 29.09.2022, Sputnik International

2022-09-29T03:14+0000

2022-09-29T03:14+0000

2022-09-29T03:10+0000

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Tweets containing keywords related to “rape” and “teens” have appeared alongside promoted tweets from corporate advertisers such as Coca-Cola Co and Walt Disney Co, according to research from Ghost Data, a cybersecurity group that identified more than 500 accounts that “openly shared or requested child sexual abuse material over a 20-day period this month.”Reuters, who couldn’t independently verify the group’s findings, conducted its own review of “dozens” of accounts that remained online despite soliciting illegal materials related to child pornography. The outlet reported at least 30 advertisers appeared next to the profile pages of Twitter accounts selling and soliciting child abuse material.Twitter started informing advertisers on Wednesday that they had discovered their ads running on inappropriate profiles and is investigating how many people the ads may have reached. In a separate email statement, Twitter defended itself:“We are working closely with our clients and partners to investigate the situation and take the appropriate steps to prevent this from happening in the future.”Citing Ghost Data, Reuters noted the majority of the 500 accounts identified as dealing in illicit materials did not get taken down.Other major advertisers, such as Dyson, Mazda, and Ecolab, have already pulled their advertising material from parts of the social media platform, not willing to take the risk of appearing next to the illegal material.A Disney spokesperson called the content “reprehensible” and said they are “doubling-down on our efforts to ensure that the digital platforms on which we advertise, and the media buyers we use, strengthen their efforts to prevent such errors from recurring.”In a statement, Twitter spokesperson Celeste Carswell said the company "has zero tolerance for child sexual exploitation" and is investing more resources dedicated to child safety, including hiring for new positions to write policy and implement solutions.The Ghost Data report comes only a few weeks after Twitter’s former head of security filed a whistleblower complaint leaking known security vulnerabilities, and alleging the social media platform “prioritized daily user growth over the platform’s health and integrity.”In a February 2021 report, a team of Twitter employees pointed out the company needed more money to identify and remove child exploitation material, citing a backlog of cases to review for potential law enforcement referral.Twitter does, however, allow adult content, which makes up about 13% of the site’s overall material.

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Like all social media platforms, Twitter bans depictions of child sexual exploitation and suspended over one million accounts for violating that rule last year alone. However, Twitter ads have appeared next to posts soliciting child porn, resulting in major brands and advertisers pulling their campaigns away from the platform, according to media.

Tweets containing keywords related to “rape” and “teens” have appeared alongside promoted tweets from corporate advertisers such as Coca-Cola Co and Walt Disney Co, according to research from Ghost Data, a cybersecurity group that identified more than 500 accounts that “openly shared or requested child sexual abuse material over a 20-day period this month.”

Reuters, who couldn’t independently verify the group’s findings, conducted its own review of “dozens” of accounts that remained online despite soliciting illegal materials related to child pornography. The outlet reported at least 30 advertisers appeared next to the profile pages of Twitter accounts selling and soliciting child abuse material.
Twitter started informing advertisers on Wednesday that they had discovered their ads running on inappropriate profiles and is investigating how many people the ads may have reached. In a separate email statement, Twitter defended itself:

“We are working closely with our clients and partners to investigate the situation and take the appropriate steps to prevent this from happening in the future.”

Citing Ghost Data, Reuters noted the majority of the 500 accounts identified as dealing in illicit materials did not get taken down.

"We're horrified," David Maddocks, brand president at Cole Haan, told Reuters after being notified the company's ads appeared alongside such tweets. "Either Twitter is going to fix this, or we'll fix it by any means we can, which includes not buying Twitter ads."

Other major advertisers, such as Dyson, Mazda, and Ecolab, have already pulled their advertising material from parts of the social media platform, not willing to take the risk of appearing next to the illegal material.

A Disney spokesperson called the content “reprehensible” and said they are “doubling-down on our efforts to ensure that the digital platforms on which we advertise, and the media buyers we use, strengthen their efforts to prevent such errors from recurring.”

In a statement, Twitter spokesperson Celeste Carswell said the company "has zero tolerance for child sexual exploitation" and is investing more resources dedicated to child safety, including hiring for new positions to write policy and implement solutions.

The Ghost Data report comes only a few weeks after Twitter’s former head of security filed a whistleblower complaint leaking known security vulnerabilities, and alleging the social media platform “prioritized daily user growth over the platform’s health and integrity.”

In a February 2021 report, a team of Twitter employees pointed out the company needed more money to identify and remove child exploitation material, citing a backlog of cases to review for potential law enforcement referral.

Twitter does, however, allow adult content, which makes up about 13% of the site’s overall material.

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