Elon Musk's X Under Fire: Allegations of Aiding Terror Groups

By Consultants Review Team Thursday, 15 February 2024

Elon Musk's social media platform, X, has come under scrutiny for allegedly allowing terrorist groups to access special features, including subscription services and verification badges, in exchange for payments. Formerly known as Twitter, X has faced accusations from the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), revealing unsettling revelations about its practices.

According to the TTP's investigation, X accepted payments from accounts associated with Hezbollah leaders, state-run media outlets in countries like Iran and Russia, and Houthi groups. These payments granted the accounts premium subscriptions, offering benefits such as the coveted blue checkmark verification badge, reduced advertisements, and extended post lengths.

Of particular concern was the discovery of verified accounts linked to entities sanctioned by the United States running advertisements in the comments section of their posts. This raised fears that these groups might be profiting from the ads.

The TTP identified 28 accounts on X, with 18 of them being verified after April 1, 2023. Additionally, advertising was found in the comments of 19 of these accounts, indicating a widespread issue.

In response to the report, X defended its practices, asserting that they have stringent systems in place to ensure compliance with the law regarding their monetization features. They emphasized that they undergo independent checks from payment providers to ensure adherence to regulations. Furthermore, X clarified that some accounts mentioned in the report are not directly sanctioned, and others with verification badges may not be accessing services subject to sanctions.

X stated that they have thoroughly reviewed the report and will take appropriate action if necessary. They reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining a safe and compliant platform for all users.

The findings of the TTP investigation raise serious concerns about how social media platforms manage extremist content and adhere to international regulations. As awareness of these issues grows, stakeholders will monitor X's response and any potential changes to enhance online safety.

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