There’s more bad news for brands that advertise on X (formerly Twitter): They’re helping financially reward pro-Adolf Hitler propaganda.
A verified account that has drawn millions of views for posts that lionize Hitler and deny the Holocaust said that it’s been paid $3,000 this year by X. Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino’s platform has continued to be a boon for bigots and misinformation but a disaster for advertisers: We found numerous advertisements for companies on that pro-Hitler account, including for major sportsbooks BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
Musk has instituted a number of changes to X since he bought it last year, including making verified status a subscription program and paying those subscribers if their posts meet certain metrics. That has largely incentivized a race to the bottom, as verified accounts attempt to gain views by posting misinformation and bigotry. X, meanwhile, has rewarded right-wing extremists through its creator ad revenue sharing program.
Amid all this, Yaccarino has been trying to bring advertisers back to the platform by claiming it’s safe for business. She has also claimed that X has been “demonstrating its absolute commitment to combating antisemitism on the platform” and that “antisemitism is evil and X will always work to fight it on our platform.”
But corporate advertisements have been appearing directly on pro-Hitler, Holocaust denial, white nationalist, pro-violence, and neo-Nazi accounts. The reality is that instead of fighting antisemitism, Yaccarino’s company has been financially rewarding it.
For instance, X has been paying a pro-Hitler and verified account that carries the screen name “bambkb” and the name “Kevin - WE THE PEOPLE - DAD.” The account has more than 99,000 followers and has more than 88,000 posts. In a screenshot and commentary, the account said that it had earned $3,000.31 this year (The account was complaining about a decline in revenue.)
X has also apparently given technical support to the account. Bambkb wrote last week that the account was temporarily suspended but it was an apparent accident, with a support person saying it was “fixed” and “there’s so much nonsense in the algorithm from the old Twitter that we are fixing. Sorry about it.”
Bambkb is a virulent antisemite who has written posts that, among other things, praise Hitler for fighting “the same people that are trying to control the world today”; claim that “we have been deceived about a LOT” regarding Hitler; and claim that Hitler wanted peace and “had no choice but the go to WAR!!”
As the BBC’s Shayan Sardarizadeh noted, X recently boosted the account’s pro-Hitler tweet into feeds. Bambkb wrote: “Have you realized that many of Hitler’s speeches have no subtitles? Why don’t they want people to see what he was saying? … Personally, I think that the same people Hitler was fighting, are the same people that are trying to control the world today - These are the same people that control all central banks/federal reserve and the same people that are depopulating the planet with #Agenda2030.” That post has more than 742,000 views.
The account also wrote: “I know that many people think Hitler is bad and that’s totally understandable. What if he was fighting the same people that we are fighting today? What if the same people that crushed Germany are doing the same thing to the entire world today? Have you ever seen : (1) The Greatest Story Never Told? (2) The last battle of Europa? Please, open up your mind to ALL possibilities, because we have been deceived about a LOT!!!” (That post has more than 1.2 million views.)
Additionally, the account has posted numerous pro-Hitler and Nazi memes, including here (over 50,000 views), here (over 39,000 views), here (over 35,000 views), here (over 34,000 views), here (over 40,000 views), here (at least 370,000 views), and here (over 16,000 views), and has also repeatedly posted Holocaust denial including here, here, here, here, and here. Here are several examples:
Collectively, these posts have received millions of views, according to the platform’s metrics. And notably, none of them have community notes currently attached to them — X’s supposed but inefficient guard against misinformation.
Additionally, bambkb has pushed numerous conspiracy theories, promoting QAnon as well as content claiming that the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting was fake; the moon landing was staged; and the Earth is flat.
We found that X has placed ads for numerous major brands on the pro-Hitler and Holocaust-denying account. The brands include:
- Juniper Networks
- Monopoly GO!
- Tell It Like It Is PAC, a group supporting Chris Christie’s presidential campaign
- The Spectator