X Partners With Company Tied To Group That Blacklisted Conservatives

A controversial partnership for ad-tech.

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In a turn of events that came under sharp criticism from free-speech advocates and conservative watchdogs, social media firm, X, once dubbed as Twitter under the leadership of Elon Musk, is now found to be entangled in a binding alliance with Integral Ad Science (IAS). The latter, an ad-verification conglomerate notorious for its alleged “misinformation” tracking, has discernible ties with the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a UK-based entity known to clandestinely provide advertisers with blacklists of right-leaning websites with the intent of undercutting them financially.

In this move, discovered by The Washington Examiner, X appears in stark contrast to Musk’s pronounced advocacy for free-speech rights. It’s worth recalling that Musk has previously disclosed documents – pegged as “Twitter Files” – from erstwhile Twitter head Jack Dorsey’s regime that seemed to expose the social media giant’s ploys in alignment with government bodies aimed at hushing conservative online platforms.

The decision to strengthen bonds with IAS stems from X’s pressing need to reassure brand safety in the wake of plummeting advertising revenue recorded in July, as revealed by Musk.

Notwithstanding, the partnership has raised eyebrows concerning the viability of Musk’s commitment to freedom of expression.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino spoke about the partnership on a Spaces call today and positioned it as a way to win over advertiser trust.

“I believe on Tuesday, we announced the rollout of all of our new safety tools, right? So think about it in terms of brand safety. I wrap up a security of blanket around you, my brand, my chief marketing officer, and say your ads will only air next to content that is appropriate for you of your choice,” Yaccarino said.

“In addition to that, we took it a step further and we exclusively partnered with one of the leaders in this space, Integral Ad Science, IAS. And it brought a whole other level of transparency…That brings a level of transparency and protections to them that re-engages them with this community.”

Outspoken critic of GDI, Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck, censured the novel affiliation claiming it would only hit up the undermining effect on free speech. Buck, a proven campaigner against GDI’s alleged censorship stratagems, warned that the partnership would only heighten the threat to freedom of speech.

Despite being in use by Twitter for years, X is now set to gain privileged access to a new, AI-driven ad-placement technology, courtesy of their pact with IAS, the Examiner noted.

However, the GDI’s shady past and potential inclination towards censorship has triggered considerable alarm among conservative circles and First Amendment lawyers. The organization landed under Congressional scrutiny due to its strategy of allegedly curbing “false information.”

The implication of X’s new partnership with IAS is yet to be determined. It also leaves us speculating what else lies hidden within the intricate networks of digital advertising and content moderation.

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