Twitter says it inadvertently ran ads on profiles containing CSAM

Twitter is still struggling to contain the spread of CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material). insider has learned (subscription required) that Twitter has inadvertently served ads on profiles that either sell or solicit CSAM. In an email to marketers, the social network said it had suspended all ads on profiles, updated its detection systems, suspended accounts that violated its rules, and launched an investigation. Reuters notes that Coca-Cola, Disney and NBCUniversal were some of the brands whose ads appeared alongside the objectionable content.

Existing technology has already blocked over 91 percent of such accounts, Twitter said. In its most recent transparency report, the company said it cracked down on 31 percent more CSAM-related accounts in the second half of 2021.

A Twitter spokesman confirmed the incident and the investigation in a statement. In addition to the existing work to detect CSAM, the company said it is making sure it has the “right models, processes and products” in place to protect both advertisers and users.

The news comes at a bad time for Twitter. It comes only weeks later The edge reported that Twitter halted efforts to create an OnlyFans clone over concerns that CSAM and other forms of sexual abuse could not be effectively tracked. It’s also emerging as social media continues to bicker with Elon Musk over the fate of his potentially canceled $44 billion acquisition. Musk has focused most of his objections on the alleged hoax of fake account information.

There was also an immediate financial impact. Reuters adding that big names like Dyson and Mazda have either frozen their marketing campaigns or run ads from some areas on Twitter. More may follow – Coca-Cola and Disney both said they found the activity unacceptable, while NBCUniversal urged Twitter to remove ads targeting CSAM.

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