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Hyundai recently paused advertising on X, also known as Twitter, after an ad from the automaker was seen adjacent to an antisemitic and pro-Hitler post on the social media site. User Nancy Levine Stearns posted screenshots of a paid Hyundai ad above the antisemitic post from a verified “premium” account that denies the Holocaust and perpetuates antisemitic rhetoric. In response to a CNN inquiry, Hyundai stated that they have paused their ads on X and are working with the platform to address issues of brand safety.

This incident comes after X’s owner, Elon Musk, publicly embraced an antisemitic theory favored by white supremacists in 2023, leading to several prominent companies pausing advertising on the platform. X has since suspended the antisemitic account that was adjacent to the Hyundai ad, as well as other accounts with antisemitic content. Joe Benarroch, the head of business operations at X, explained that Hyundai’s campaign on X did not activate Brand Safety settings, which allow advertisers to avoid having their ads placed alongside distasteful content.

Despite X’s actions to suspend certain accounts, many verified premium accounts on the platform still post or amplify pro-Nazi content. This was revealed in an analysis by NBC News, which identified 150 verified premium accounts engaging in such behavior. X News dismissed the report as “gotcha articles” and accused NBC of not fully disclosing their research to the site. Elon Musk himself faced backlash in 2023 for agreeing with a post on X that promoted antisemitic views, though he later apologized for the incident.

After visiting Auschwitz in January, Musk claimed that X has less antisemitic content than other social media platforms but acknowledged the pervasive issue of antisemitism in the United States. Despite this, Musk criticized advertisers who halted their spending on X over concerns about antisemitic content, telling them to “go f**k” themselves. It is evident that the issue of antisemitism on social media platforms, including X, is a complex and ongoing problem that requires a concerted effort from companies, users, and platform operators to address and combat. Only through collaborative action can progress be made in making online spaces safe and inclusive for all users.

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