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Disney, Microsoft ads on Twitter show up next to neo-Nazi propaganda: report

Neo-Nazi propaganda continues to find a home on Twitter and is adjacent to ads from major companies as advertisers slowly slowly return to Elon Musk’s social media platform, according to a report.

Civil rights attorney and Harvard Law School clinical instructor Alejandra Caraballo said she has witnessed an increase in ads since Musk tapped NBCUniversal’s advertising superstar Linda Yaccarino to head Twitter last month.

However, the extremism researcher said ads from mainstream firms like Disney and Microsoft were popping up next to neo-Nazi propaganda, according to Insider.

“I was seeing ads appearing on my feed right above posts from White Lives Matter California,” Caraballo told the outlet, referring to an anti-Black Lives Matter organization she follows for research purposes.

Caraballo reported that no ads appeared on White Lives Matter’s actual profile, “but one of the things I noticed is that they had retweeted portions of ‘Europa: The Last Battle.’”

“Europa: The Last Battle” is a 2017 propaganda film that relies on antisemitic themes that blame Jewish people for causing both world wars as part of a scheme to create the nation of Israel, Insider reported.

During her research, Harvard Law School clinical instructor Alejandra Caraballo noticed that ads for the likes of Adobe, Harper Collins’ kids division, Microsoft and Disney appeared adjacent to antisemitic tweets.

The film draws on for 12 hours, and seemingly violates Twitter’s “hateful conduct” rules, which prohibits users from directly attacking others “on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or serious disease.”

Caraballo said she saw clips of the movie being uploaded to Twitter.

“I wondered how prevalent this was on here, so I just decided to search for it [“Europa: The Last Battle”] on Twitter,” she said.

Typing the film’s title into Twitter’s search bar not only pulled up results relating to the movie posted by verified accounts, but included ads from the likes of Adobe, Microsoft and Disney, according to screenshots uploaded by Caraballo.

“Sure enough, when I was searching for it, I thought: ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.’ There are literal ads appearing right below all of this content,” Caraballo told the outlet.

One image showed an Adobe ad for its “Changemakers Series” addressing issues like mental health appear above a clip from “Europa: The Last Battle” posted by a verified user.

For the five weeks between April 1 and May, Twitter's ad revenue reportedly dipped 59% from 2022 after advertisers cited worries that the app would be chaotic under Musk's rule.
For the five weeks between April 1 and May, Twitter’s ad revenue reportedly dipped 59% from 2022 after advertisers cited worries that the app would be chaotic under Musk’s rule.
Best Image / BACKGRID

Verification is no longer a free feature only given to a well-known figure or brand so they can be distinguished from imposters.

As of April, any sole user or organization with a Twitter profile can purchase a prized badge through Twitter Blue. The cost of a blue checkmark now ranges from $8 a month for individual web users to a starting price of $1,000 monthly for an organization.

In a separate tweet, Caraballo showed how other searches of the movie pulled up results sprinkled with ads from other prominent brands, like the NBA, Bitdefender, Freddie Mac and betterme.

After Caraballo shared what she found, she told Insider that Twitter appeared to remove the ads from the specific search. However, she altered her search to “last battle Europa” the following day and saw the same results.

“They appear to have restricted that specific search, and not anything else — so they haven’t moderated the actual content,” she told the outlet.

To further test how much Twitter was actually moderating the platform, Caraballo said she also searched racial slurs, and found ads next to hateful content that she believed advertisers would definitely want to steer clear of.

She also searched antisemitic terms like “Nazi” and “Hitler,” which she told Insider appeared to be stripped of ads through moderation.

In addition, words like “grooming” and “groomer” didn’t propagate any ads, but upon searching “groom,” Caraballo found “very horrible anti-LGBTQ content alongside ads.”

In her first investor call as Twitter CEO, Linda Yaccarino didn't report that any major advertising firms were pausing their marketing spend on the social media site.
In her first investor call as Twitter CEO, Linda Yaccarino didn’t report that any major advertising firms were pausing their marketing spend on the social media site.
Getty Images for The Female Quotient

“It’s just one of those things where the kind of fairly obvious things that brands would want to stay away from are obviously already flagged, but things that are more nuanced or maybe not as well known to brand safety experts, those things can slip through,” she told Insider.

When The Post reached out to Twitter for comment, the press email auto-responded with a poop emoji, as its done since Musk took over and axed much of the platform’s communications team.

For the five weeks between April 1 and May, Twitter’s ad revenue reportedly dipped 59% from the same time last year to $88 million.

However, when Yaccarino helmed her first investor call as Twitter CEO on June 5, her presentation reportedly had no indication that the major advertising firms were pausing their marketing spend on the social media site.

Well-known brands including Warner Bros, Mondelez, McDonald’s and Walmart have resumed advertising on Twitter after initial pauses, the slide said, according to a source familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private investor call.

In fact, Yaccarino told investors that ad spending in several advertiser categories is now up at least 40% year-over-year, including health, consumer packaged goods and financial services, the source said.

Caraballo called advertisers resuming their campaigns on Twitter “deeply concerning” because it directly supports and funds “extremist content” like the kind generated from the “Europa” search.

While advertisers may believe that the app is less chaotic than they once did under Yaccarino, Caraballo warned that Musk’s moderation-related policy changes, and the crew enforcing them, have not changed despite the transfer of CEO powers, according to Insider.

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