Twitter condemned for placing ads next to child abuse content

Twitter has come under fire for featuring brand promotions next to tweets soliciting child pornography.

Brands including, PBS Kids, Forbes, Mazda and Dyson told Reuters that they have suspended their marketing campaigns or removed advertisements from Twitter as a consequence.

According to research from cypersecurity group Ghost Data, Coca-Cola, Disney and NBC Universal were also among more than 30 other advertisers that have reportedly featured alongside Twitter accounts promoting links to child abuse material.

Reuters found that the tweets included ‘keywords’ related to ‘rape’ and ‘teens’.

While the social media app bans depictions of child sexual exploitation, the social media brand is one of the few sites that still allows porn links to be posted.

Ghost Data revealed in its report that more than 500 accounts have ‘openly shared or requested’ child pornography over 20 days this month alone. According to the cypersecurity group more than 70% of these accounts were not removed by Twitter. They have however been removed since.

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Twitter emailed its advertisers on Wednesday stating that it “discovered that ads were running within profiles that were involved with publicly selling or soliciting child sexual abuse material.”

A spokesperson for Disney said that the company was “doubling-down on our efforts to ensure that the digital platforms on which we advertise, and the media buyers we use, strengthen their efforts to prevent such errors from recurring.”

Coca-cola has also said that “any breach of these standards is unacceptable and taken very seriously.”

The controversy could cost Twitter substantially, as it relies on digital advertisements for more than 90% of its revenue.

BrandsNewsResearch and DataSocial Media

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