Hyundai pauses ads on X over antisemitic posts

Hyundai pauses ads on X over antisemitic posts

Automaker Hyundai paused advertisements on the social media platform X after a sponsored post from the company was featured next to antisemitic and pro-Nazi posts, the company confirmed to The Hill.

“We have paused our ads on X and are speaking to X directly about brand safety to ensure this issue is addressed,” Hyundai said in a statement to The Hill.

NBC News first reported the ad pause.

Freelance journalist Nancy Levine Stearns posted a screenshot of the ad appearing in the feed of an X user who frequently posts Holocaust denial and antisemitic remarks. The ad was next to a post labeled “Violent Event Denial” regarding the Holocaust, Joe Benarroch, the head of X business operations, confirmed to The Hill.

The account, which had antisemitic tropes in its bio, was later suspended, according to Benarroch.

Hyundai ran the ad for about six weeks with a focus on climate change to “reach” lawmakers, he added.

“The Hyundai campaign was done self-serve, without the support of X’s direct sales team — and unfortunately, its agency Brunswick did not activate Brand Safety settings controls available to them,” Benarroch wrote in a statement, adding X worked with Brunswick to correct the ad settings.

“Hyundai is considering its next steps as it refreshes the 6-week-old campaign,” he continued.

The Hill reached out to Brunswick for further comment.

The platform X has faced increased scrutiny over its content moderation policies since it was bought in 2022 by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, who rolled back on some restrictive policies.

The Anti-Defamation League in November 2022 said there was a 61.3 percent increase in the volume of posts referencing “Jews” or “Judaism” with antisemitic content in the two weeks after Musk took over X, then known as Twitter.

Musk and his social media platform came under renewed fire last fall after he appeared to endorse an antisemitic conspiracy theory that suggested antisemitism was carried out by minorities and that Jewish people were to blame.

Several high-profile companies pulled their advertisements after reports circulated that their ads were placed next to posts celebrating Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party on the platform.

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