Update 2 (8/16/23, 8:15 p.m.): CNN’s Clare Duffy and Brian Fung followed up on Media Matters’ reporting and found ads for other brands on the pro-Hitler account prior to its suspension. They reported that “spokespeople for NCTA and pharmaceutical company Gilead said that they immediately paused their ad spending on X after CNN flagged their ads on the pro-Nazi account.” They added: “Wednesday’s report suggests that the company still has work to do if it wants to avoid monetizing, and placing ads alongside, objectionable content.”
Update (8/16/23, 1:45 p.m.): Following the publication of this article, X suspended the openly pro-Hitler account. The suspension came only after the company verified the account; allowed it to repeatedly post antisemitic content; and monetized it by placing advertisements for major brands on the account. X's monetization of the account also happened even though the company had reportedly acknowledged that the antisemitic account engaged in “violent speech.”
Under the leadership of CEO Linda Yaccarino, X (formerly known as Twitter) has been placing ads for brands like The New York Times Co.'s The Athletic, MLB, the Atlanta Falcons, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Amazon, and Office Depot on a verified pro-Adolf Hitler account that encourages antisemitic harassment. The company continues to monetize the openly antisemitic account despite reportedly acknowledging it had violated the platform’s “rules against violent speech.”
During an August 10 interview with CNBC, Yaccarino falsely claimed that brands are “protected from the risk of being next to” toxic content and “by all objective metrics, X is a much healthier and safer platform than it was a year ago.”
Media Matters and other observers have documented how X has remained a dangerous cesspool of content, especially for advertisers. Since Elon Musk took over the company, X has placed ads for numerous brands directly on Holocaust denial, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi accounts. Ads have also appeared next to content from the accounts of extremists that have been restored under Musk.
New American Union is a pro-fascist account that celebrates Hitler and his National Socialist Party (aka the Nazi Party). It’s been “verified since April 2023” and has thousands of followers, meaning that the account meets at least two of the criteria for X’s revenue sharing program — and that money from X’s advertisers could eventually end up in the account’s pockets.
The following are several representative posts from the account promoting Nazism:
New American Union has been allowed to continue posting on X despite the platform’s awareness of the account’s extremism. New American Union wrote on June 1 that the account had been “locked” and then “restored.” On June 24, the account posted that X had found it in violation of the platform’s “rules against violent speech” and temporarily restricted its posting ability. New American Union then stated on July 13 that it had “been dealing with a mass reporting situation on this account.”
Since Yaccarino’s CNBC appearance, Media Matters found ads for the following brands on the pro-Hitler account:
- Action Network
- Atlanta Falcons
- Corn Nuts / Hormel Foods
- FIFA Women's World Cup
- Gilead Sciences
- Office Depot
- Sports Illustrated
- The Athletic / The New York Times Co.
- The Herd with Colin Cowherd / Fox Sports
- USA Today
While The New York Times Co. property The Athletic has been advertising on X, The Washington Post recently reported that X “has been slowing the speed with which users could access links to the New York Times.”
Here's how the Falcons' ad appeared on New American Union's feed:
And here's how a separate MLB ad appeared on New American Union's feed: