New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) Some super-spreaders of misinformation on X, who are verified premium users with blue badges, are sharing Elon Musk’s ads revenue even after making conspiratorial claims about the Israel-Hamas war, a new report has revealed.
NewsGuard, a for-profit misinformation watchdog organisation, found that such posts with misinformation reached a collective 92 million views.
Under the terms of a new advertising revenue sharing programme that X introduced for its “creators", a portion of the advertising income generated by these organisations would apparently be shared with these super-spreaders of misinformation.
From November 13-22, NewsGuard analysts reviewed programmatic ads that appeared in the feeds below 30 viral tweets that contained false or egregiously misleading information about the war.
These 30 viral tweets were posted by 10 of X’s worst purveyors of Israel-Hamas war-related misinformation; these accounts have previously been identified by NewsGuard as repeat spreaders of misinformation about the conflict.
“These 30 tweets have cumulatively reached an audience of over 92 million viewers, according to X data. On average, each tweet was seen by 3 million people,” the report mentioned.
In total, analysts cumulatively identified 200 ads from 86 major brands, nonprofits, educational institutions, and governments that appeared in the feeds below 24 of the 30 tweets containing false or egregiously misleading claims about the Israel-Hamas war.
The other six tweets did not feature advertisements.
(On X, ads appear as “tweets” that are shown to users in feeds.)
The ads NewsGuard found were served to analysts browsing the internet using their own X accounts in five countries: the US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy.
NewsGuard’s report comes after Apple, Disney, and IBM pulled their ads off of X after owner Musk spoke approvingly of an antisemitic post on the platform.
After NewsGuard reached out to X about this report, Musk tweeted: “X Corp will be donating all revenue from advertising and subscriptions associated with the war in Gaza to hospitals in Israel and the Red Cross/Crescent in Gaza.”
It is not clear what Musk meant by “revenue from advertising & subscriptions associated with the war in Gaza,” nor did he comment on many or all of these account holders sharing in X’s revenues for spreading misinformation, said the report.
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