Mashable has confirmed this ad format with numerous users from across X and have seen a variety of different ads running this bizarre new format that just consists of written copy text, a photo, and a fake avatar that’s sole purpose is to make the ad look like an organically posted tweet.
The type of content being promoted in the ads that Mashable has viewed appear to be consistent with ads found in spammy, low quality “chumbox” advertising – typically defined as those clickbait ads found at the bottom of posts on content farm sites – made popular by native ad networks like Taboola.
“This Seems Unbelievable, But Happens in Dubai Everyday” reads one ad that takes users to a third-party content mill website, overloaded with ads of its own. “These Incredibly Cool Gadgets That Are Going To Sell Out This Year. Action Now!” and “If you suffer from ringing ears (Tinnitus) you’re going to love this recent breakthrough” are other examples of some of the content found in these X ads.
“when I say payments, I actually mean someone’s entire financial life. If it involves money, it’ll be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever. So it’s not just like ‘send $20 to my friend.’ I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account.”
Yes, that’s just what I want, all my money tied up in a company run by a meme-lord who constantly boosts crypto coins and uses that company as a weapon against anyone who angers him. And who has a history of just deciding not to pay people and breaking contracts on a whim. Sounds like a great financial move.
And also, from Fidelity has marked down the value of Twitter/X by 65%:
Mutual fund giant Fidelity wrote down the value of its shares in Twitter/X by another 8% during the month of September, according to a new disclosure.
By the numbers: Fidelity, which contributed over $300 million to Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover, decreased the value of its investment by nearly 65% over the first eleven months.
Caveat: Fidelity doesn’t explain how it calculates its valuations for unlisted securities, and other Twitter/X shareholders may have different holding values.
Personally I think it’s amazing if it only lost $25 billion in a year after putting that buffoon in charge. In recent times we’ve seen Tesla drop over 50% in a year (and recover, but that’s beside the point). I wouldn’t expect any company run by him to be less volatile than cryptocurrency. Which is really quite an achievement.
So far, Musk has threatened to sue Media Matters and the Anti-Defamation League, but he has not actually followed through yet with filing any defamation suits to back his claims that hate speech researchers are falsely attacking X’s reputation.
The only lawsuit that he has filed—against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) in August—didn’t even claim that X had been defamed. Instead, Musk could only lob claims alleging breach of contract harms and an anti-hacking law violation, because CCDH claimed that Musk’s X Corp. “cannot allege” that the CCDH “said anything knowingly false, nor does it wish to invite discovery on the truth about the content on its platform.”
The CCDH moved to dismiss Musk’s lawsuit last week, calling Musk a “thin-skinned tyrant” who was allegedly making a “naked attempt to silence independent research into the platform and bully the community of researchers studying social media platforms.”
Well, that information got stale fast.
Musk’s complaint—bizarrely filed in a Texas court despite X Corp. being based in California and Media Matters in the District of Columbia—accused Media Matters of interference with X Corp.'s contract with advertisers, business disparagement, and interference with a prospective economic advantage by allegedly disrupting X Corp.'s relationship with advertisers.
What X described as Media Matters’ manipulations, though, arguably is how the platform would function if a user was going to follow only white nationalist accounts and their favorite brands, although according to X, no user would refresh and scroll the platform as frequently as Media Matters did. X even went one step further and claimed that because of how Media Matters was using X, it was not X that placed the ads next to the fringe content, but Media Matters “was responsible for placement of the content it identified through its willful exploitation of X’s user features.”
The lawsuit outright admits that Media Matters did, in fact, see those ads next to that content. Its main complaint is that Elon is mad that he thinks they said that such ads regularly appear next to such content, when it only (according to him) rarely appears next to that content, which he admits the site mostly allows.
But there’s a bigger problem: in making a big deal out of this and filing one of the worst SLAPP suits I’ve ever seen, all while claiming that Media Matters “manipulated” things (even as the lawsuit admits that it did no such thing), it is only begging more people to go looking for ads appearing next to terrible content.
And they’re finding them. Easily.
As the DailyDot pointed out, a bunch of users started looking around and found that ads were being served next to the tag #HeilHitler and “killjews” among other neo-Nazi content and accounts. Avi Bueno kicked things off, noting that he didn’t need to do any of the things the lawsuit accuses Media Matters of doing:
The article has images with a LOT of examples.
Musk spoke on stage at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit in an interview conducted by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. Sorkin asked Musk about trying to gain back advertising from businesses that pulled ads from X after Musk posted a favorable response to an antisemitic tweet.
“I hope they stop. Don’t advertise,” Musk said in response to Sorkin’s question (see video).
Perplexed, Sorkin asked, “you don’t want them to advertise?”
“No,” Musk responded. “What do you mean?” Sorkin asked.
“If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money? Go fuck yourself,” Musk said.
Sorkin replied, “but,” and trailed off. Musk wasn’t done. “Go fuck yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey, Bob!” Musk said. Musk was apparently addressing Disney CEO Bob Iger, who previously said at the conference that advertising on X “was not necessarily a positive” association and so Disney “decided we would pull our advertising.”
Yikes, someone’s feeling the strain…
Musk responded that the advertising boycott is likely to kill the company. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company, and the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company and we will document it in great detail,” Musk said.
They’re your customers. If you’re not going to sell them what they want to buy, that’s on you!