In July, Musk announced he was rebranding Twitter as “X,” as he replaced the blue background and happy little bird with a black and white X.
X’s far-leftCEO Linda Yaccarino on Tuesday announced it had come to terms with Integral Ad Science, which seeks to help advertisers and publishers identify posts and content they might find objectionable.
Integral Ad Science says, “Our mission is to be the global benchmark for trust and transparency in digital media quality. We do this through comprehensive enriched data that ensures ads are seen by real people in safe and suitable environments.”
Peeling back the layers, there’s a relationship between Yaccarino – as exists with many influencers -- and the World Economic Forum. Among the WEF’s initiatives is GARM – the Global Alliance for Responsible Media. Through GARM the WEF aims to control what it defines as hate speech, bullying or disinformation on social media.
Yaccarino (pictured at right) is a member of the WEF’s Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry governor’s steering committee.
In light of all that, alarms bells have been blaring.
“The companies affiliated with GARM make up over 90% of advertiser dollars in the market,” Heritage Foundation communications specialist Christian Lasval posted on X. “If this partnership is not severed there is no reason to believe conservatives, especially conservative content creators, will not begin to experience the same ostracizing we faced on old Twitter.”
Musk in May hired Yaccarino, a NBCUniversal ad executive, as his CEO saying she would focus primarily on business operations while he focused on product design and new technology. Yaccarino has also worked with both the World Economic Forum and the Biden administration.
Lasval, in an interview on American Family Radio on Wednesday, recalled that Musk purchased Twitter with the goal of protecting and encouraging free speech.
"Particularly for conservatives, who were specifically targeted, as we've come to learn more and more with the Twitter files," Lasval, who oversees social media for Heritage, said. "And then recently with Jim Jordan's Facebook files, where we know these big tech platforms were coordinating with the federal government, particularly the executive branch, to silence mainstream conservative opinions on things like COVID, on the war in Ukraine and a number of other issues that so far we happen to be right on."
New 'capabilities' that punish dissent
The Geneva-based World Economic Forum has no independent decision-making authority but wealthy participants, including founder Klaus Schwab, are infamous for openly fantasizing about a globalist future.
Similarly, the official news release from X, posted by Yaccarino from her account, uses language that immediately rang warning bells for conservative creators.
“We’re also announcing two new capabilities: Sensitivity settings and Enhanced Blocklist for advertisers," the announcement said.
The new features could cripple conservative creators, Lasval told show host Jenna Ellis.
“So what does this mean for X? Well, your account might not be suspended for saying that COVID came from the Wuhan lab, for example. However, a content creator that makes content saying that may be flagged with these new safety sensitivity settings," he explained. "So that advertisers don't put dollars behind that creator. So your platform is greatly diminished."
Even if you create other Twitter content that doesn't violate safety standars, Lasval continued, advertisers may refuse to be involved with your account because it has already been flagged as a "sensitive" account.
Not only would a flagged creator potentially miss out on ad revenue, he would also miss the growth that comes with content being re-posted and circulated by users.
Not everyone was excited about the return of free speech on Twitter, especially the Far Left that wants to define "hate speech" to punish its enemies. Musk’s turn to Yaccarino comes after Twitter ad revenues dropped by 40% according to multiple media reports.
After the billionaire purchased Twitter in the spring of 2022, by January of this year 500 of its top advertisers had left, according to industry news outlet TheInformation.com.
Lasval said content creators deserve to know how their content is being presented to advertisers.
“I certainly hope," he told AFR, "that there will be increased transparency for accounts to be able to see where they're ranked on those sensitivity settings.”
Opinionated Musk...has no comment?
Musk, who is not shy about sharing his opinions, has yet to publicly comment on his company’s new business partnership.
“I have seen nothing on his account that he has commented on this or that he's even aware of it," Lasval advised. "It’s definitely something that needs more attention because hopefully he'll stick to his promises and realize the threat that this is for the very kind of speech that he purchased the platform … to make sure it wouldn't get censored."
X’s new relationship with the World Economic Forum could be the first big test of Musk’s true commitment to free speech. Can that commitment stand up against the need to regain lost revenue?
“[Musk] has shown himself to be pretty principled on maintaining free speech thus far," Lasval observed, "but it remains to be seen how committed he really is to that when it comes to making money on the platform because that's what this is right now."