Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has finally come to a close, and as he takes charge of the platform, some advertisers aren’t too happy. Citing his love for humanity, Elon Musk wrote a letter to Twitter’s advertisers emphasizing the importance of ad relevancy on Thursday.
On Friday, General Motors paused its Twitter ad spending once Elon Musk completed his takeover of the platform. Although GM is a competitor of Tesla, another company owned by Elon Musk, Tesla doesn’t pay any platform for advertising.
This news prompted human trafficking survivor advocate, Eliza Bleu, to ask GM and any other advertiser considering leaving Twitter one hard question.
“Is advertising with Elon Musk worse than with child sexual abuse material?”
In September, Twitter told advertisers found ads on profiles linked with child sex abuse. Business Insider viewed those emails sent and reported that Twitter banned accounts for violating its rules. The publication noted that some advertisers were told that Twitter suspended all ads on profiles and that it had “updated its systems” in order to detect better accounts linked to child sexual abuse material or CSAM.
Twitter told Insider that it’s working with its product teams to ensure it has the right models, processes, and products in place to help keep everyone using Twitter safe, which, in the cases of John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, don’t seem to be true. John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 are two male minors who begged Twitter to remove videos of their sexual exploitation. Twitter refused to pull down the content.
Screenshot from the lawsuit
Eliza Bleu pointed out that Twitter still hasn’t solved the CSAM problem after the ad issue. “The employees knew about the problem before the issue with the ads,” she told Teslarati. She pointed to a recent case reported by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo on Thursday.
In this case, a 22-year-old man pled guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs of children and two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with children. There were three Twitter accounts that shared indecent images and videos of children. The defendant was also having conversations of a sexual nature with a 13- and 14-year-old.
Eliza Bleu also pointed out that Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations blocked 23 Twitter accounts for sharing CSAM in September, as well as one in Naples, where a man was arrested with over 100 child pornography charges. The man transmitted multiple child pornography files from his Twitter and Snapchat accounts to other users.
In September, Andrea Stroppa, founder of Ghost Data and a former contributor to the World Economic Forum, released an exclusive report to Reuters with a list of over 500 accounts that openly shared or requested CSAM over a 20-day period in September. Stroppa also shared the report with Teslarati following the publishing of the Reuters article.
Those 500 accounts produced over 10,000 tweets, with almost half focusing on trading illicit material. The accounts accumulated over 2,000 unique followers.
In her question to GM, which goes for any company wanting to pause its ad spending due to Elon Musk taking ownership of Twitter, Eliza Bleu wanted to know if Elon Musk was truly worse than the exploitation of children.
Question @GM why didn’t you remove your ads from Twitter in September when you received an email from Twitter telling you that you paid to potentially run ads on child sexual abuse material imagery?
Is @elonmusk worse than child sexual abuse material?
— Eliza (@elizableu) October 29, 2022
Eliza told Teslarati that she is also concerned about the narratives that could be created and pushed. Narratives such as Elon Musk, the ongoing lawsuit against Twitter by John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, and CSAM on Twitter in general. There’s already a lot of misinformation about Elon Musk, and it would be easy for this topic to be weaponized against Elon Musk now that he has taken over Twitter.
These are the words that John Doe #1 said to Twitter after they refused to pull down the two male minors sexual exploitation.
The survivors were both 13 in the video. pic.twitter.com/iI6XgAmhGu
— Eliza (@elizableu) April 10, 2021
“Two minors are currently suing Twitter. If Elon does indeed take over Twitter and acquire Twitter, unfortunately, part of the baggage he’s going to acquire is this lawsuit. Of course, the lawsuit won’t be against him personally. It’ll be against Twitter,” Eliza said in a recent video.
Eliza has publicly offered Elon Musk and the new Twitter leadership. She’s willing to work with X (Twitter) to remove CSAM at scale. “I offered to work for free,” she said in a tweet.
In a statement to Teslarati, Eliza Bleu reaffirmed her offer to Elon Musk and the new leadership team at Twitter.
“Twitter has a long history of knowingly refusing to remove child sexual abuse material at scale. This issue has been covered by the corporate media and called out by governments around the globe. Over 32 brands removed ads from Twitter when the Reuters pieces came out in September of this year because of child sexual abuse material on Twitter. I think that General Motors’ lack of concern over sexually abused children says a lot. Survivors buy cars too. There are more survivors out there than these brands might think.”
“My hope is that Elon Musk prioritizes the removal of child sexual abuse material at scale on X (Twitter.) I’d be more than happy to serve my fellow survivors by helping with this process. Perhaps the site finally has an opportunity to regain trust in the survivor space. As far as General Motors goes, I’ve received their message loud and clear, their hate for Elon Musk is more important than minor survivors of child sexual exploitation.”
Trafficking survivor has a hard question for Twitter advertisers pausing ads over Elon Musk acquisition