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### Users Claim X Faces Advertisers Promoting Questionable Cryptocurrency and AI ‘Undressing’ Apps Post Musk’s Outburst

Experts in social media and advertising say an advertiser exodus has left X reliant on smaller, les…

Elon Musk’s campaign against advertisers appears to be yielding unintended outcomes for X.

Some users have raised concerns about the excessive presence of substandard advertisements on the platform, including promotions for AI “undressing” applications and questionable cryptocurrency services. Experts in social media and advertising have informed Business Insider that the decline in the quality of sponsored content on X is a direct result of the departure of major advertisers from the platform.

In recent times, users have been highlighting the surge in these advertisements, with some even appending community warnings to suspicious promotions to caution others about potential financial risks.

Business Insider

Additional questionable ads have been identified on the platform, with users also expressing discontent over the proliferation of ads for “undressing” applications in their feeds. These applications, utilizing artificial intelligence, enable users to fabricate explicit images of individuals.

These advertisements violate X’s terms of service, which explicitly prohibit the promotion of adult sexual content.

Furthermore, these ads are rapidly disseminating across the internet, as indicated by data from the social media analysis firm Graphika, which cautioned that such tools could be exploited for sextortion and targeted harassment campaigns.

X did not provide a response to Business Insider’s request for comments on this matter.

‘The departure of major advertisers has been significant’

The emergence of dubious ads on social media platforms is not uncommon, with companies like Meta having previously issued apologies for cryptocurrency scam ads.

However, advertising and social media experts informed BI that the exit of prominent advertisers has likely compelled X to rely more heavily on smaller, less reputable ad purchasers — to the detriment of users on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

This isn’t limited to my timeline. I encountered this on Kirk’s profile page.

Twitter permitted an advertisement for a DeepFake AI nude generator to be displayed on the profile page of ESPN’s most prominent college football personality.

This was a verified account with 1.6 million followers. pic.twitter.com/xqCDa7Ilgm

— kevin harrish (@Kevinish) December 13, 2023

Jeff MacDonald, the social strategy director at the ad agency Mekanism, asserted that the presence of undressing ads winning bidding placements on X serves as “evidence that major advertisers have departed.”

He further remarked, “This also underscores the downward spiral that the X platform has entered.”

This trend may continue, with 404 Media reporting last month that ads promoting “semen stealing” were surfacing on the platform.

Hamza Mudassir, a strategy consultant and lecturer at Cambridge University, highlighted that suspicious ads are prevalent across all social media platforms.

“However, the issue with X is that due to the departure of major advertisers, these types of ads are appearing more frequently, creating a negative experience for genuine users on the platform,” he conveyed to BI.

‘X has demonstrated a lack of interest in fostering a brand-safe environment’

Musk’s conduct on the platform he controls has triggered reactions from mainstream advertisers.

Following Musk’s endorsement of an antisemitic post, Apple, Disney, and others announced their cessation of advertising spending on the platform in November. Musk’s subsequent retort to advertisers, telling them to “go fuck yourself” and characterizing their actions as blackmail, further exacerbated the situation.

Since assuming control of the platform, Musk has downsized X’s content moderation team and reinstated figures like Alex Jones, previously banned for abusive behavior, unsettling advertisers even before Musk’s recent controversies.

“Most of our clients had already begun to devalue X as a platform for meaningful customer connections prior to Musk’s behaviors,” MacDonald remarked.

“The clear indication from X that they are not committed to establishing a brand-safe environment has only reinforced our advice to transition to emerging platforms offering better opportunities for organic discovery,” he added.

Presently, the exodus of advertisers has left CEO Linda Yaccarino scrambling to address a mounting revenue shortfall. Internal documents reviewed by The New York Times suggest that the company could face up to a $75 million decline in ad revenue by the end of 2023.

The Financial Times disclosed last month that X is endeavoring to offset the loss of major companies like IBM and Walmart by targeting smaller enterprises and aiming to secure $100 million in political advertisements during the 2024 election cycle.

“As X becomes increasingly desperate to attract advertisers, we are witnessing a decline in advertising costs, leading to the influx of lower-quality ads,” stated social media expert Matt Navarra.

He added, “While there may be some compensatory influx from low-quality ads, small businesses, and political advertisers as major brands withdraw, it remains uncertain if this will significantly bridge the revenue gap.”

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