The Ongoing Brand Safety Concerns on X: An Analysis

The Ongoing Brand Safety Concerns on X: An Analysis

Despite X’s repeated assurances regarding brand safety, more advertisers are expressing concerns about their ad placements appearing alongside objectionable content. Hyundai recently announced a pause in its ad spend on X after discovering that its ads were being displayed alongside pro-Nazi content.

X has undergone an 80% reduction in total staff, including many moderation and safety employees, leading to concerns about the platform’s ability to effectively enforce its rules. With fewer human moderators and an increased reliance on AI and crowd-sourced Community Notes, there is a growing worry that many violative posts are slipping through the cracks.

According to E.U. disclosures, X has a lower moderator-to-user ratio compared to other platforms like TikTok and Meta. This raises questions about X’s ability to adequately moderate content and ensure brand safety, especially with the platform’s current staffing levels.

Elon Musk’s public statements suggest a preference for minimal to no moderation on the platform, believing that all perspectives should be represented for users to evaluate independently. However, this laissez-faire approach has paved the way for misinformation and harmful content to proliferate on X, undermining trust in the platform.

The erosion of trust in X, coupled with the platform’s policy decisions and Musk’s own interactions with conspiracy-related content, poses a significant risk to brand safety. Advertisers may find their promotions displayed alongside objectionable material, despite X’s claims of high brand safety rates.

Even though X reports a brand safety rate of “99.99%”, recent incidents like the Hyundai ad placement issue suggest that there may be discrepancies in the platform’s actual brand safety performance. Advertisers are left wondering if X’s brand safety measures are truly as effective as advertised.

The Path Forward for X

As X continues to grapple with brand safety concerns and revenue challenges, the platform must address staffing issues, moderation processes, and content enforcement mechanisms. Advertisers, users, and stakeholders are calling for greater transparency and accountability from X to ensure a safer and more reliable environment for all.

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