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Child Porn Allegations Spark Exodus of Corporate Ads from Twitter

'We're horrified... '

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Several major advertisers on Twitter have pulled their services from the platform after tweets seeking child sex abuse material have appeared on or alongside their profile pages and promoted ads.

Ghost Data, a cyber security group, teased the release of a new report about child sex abuse online, which allegedly identified links between Twitter and material containing child pornography.

Companies like Dyson, Ecolab, Forbes, PBS Kids and Mazda have paused or pulled their ads and campaigns from the platform, The Daily Wire reported.

“There is no place for this type of content online,” a spokesperson for Mazda USA said.

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The automotive manufacturer does not allow its ads to appear on Twitter profile pages anymore.

According to the Ghost Data report, more than 500 accounts openly shared or requested child pornography for 20 days during the month of September. More than 70% of these accounts were still active at the conclusion of the study.

Twitter spokesperson Celeste Carswell told Reuters that the users requesting and sharing child sex material had been reviewed, removed and permanently suspended from the platform, saying that Twitter “has zero tolerance for child sexual exploitation.”

“We’re horrified,” David Maddocks, brand president at Cole Haan, told Reuters. “Either Twitter is going to fix this, or we’ll fix it by any means we can, which includes not buying Twitter ads.”

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Twitter’s issue with abusive content was first reported by The Verge in August 2022.

Ghost Data found that some of the tweets that were found along advertisers included terms such as “rape” and “teens.”

A promoted tweet from Texas’ Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital was immediately followed by a user searching for “Yung girls ONLY, NO Boys.”

Twitter officials declined to speak on the predatory tweets, but have said the company will be investing in more resources to protect the safety of children.

This includes hiring new policy writing positions and dedicating more brainpower to preventing the problem altogether.

Andrew Stoppa, founder of Ghost Data, said in a tweet that he will soon be releasing the full report on Twitter’s child pornography problem, calling the issue “severe.”

“Since it is a sensitive topic, more time is needed to release the findings publicly (it does not depend on us), but research will come out soon,” Stroppa said.

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