Last month, Deadspin reported on a Media Matters discovery that ads for the NFL (and various NFL teams) were showing up on white nationalist accounts on X.com (formerly Twitter). That revelation led to the league reaching out to X to pull their ads from accounts that advocate for white supremacy.
Now, as bloodshed continues to rage in Israel, and Palestine, Media Matters has discovered that MLB ads have appeared on at least one account that frequently traffics in anti-Semitism — and that is pushing misinformation about the current conflict.
Media Matters sent Deadspin several screenshots of MLB advertisements on the X account Way of The World (@wayotworld), which regularly denounces feminism, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and non-whites as the downfall of Western civilization. Way of the World’s X bio contains the phrase “Friend of Westernkind. Globalism is satanic.” It also posts a lot of stuff like this:
The account also regularly rants against “globalism,” long-used as a slur for ethnic Jews. As CEO of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt told The Atlantic, “[T]he term originates from is a reference to Jewish people who are seen as having allegiances not to their countries of origin like the United States, but to some global conspiracy.” Earlier this week, the account polled its followers on whether or not Israel intentionally stood down their military, ostensibly to lure Hamas into their territory to kill, and kidnap unsuspecting Israelis for … reasons. You’ll never guess the poll results:
The memes and replies by followers on the account are often just as bad, if not worse, as those shared by the Way of the World itself, like this one, comparing the Israel Defense Forces to the Uruk-Hai, the brutal warriors in Lord of the Rings who served the evil wizard Saruman, and sought to destroy the world of men at Helms Deep.
Way of the World also frequently alludes to Jews by using the term “2%,” which refers to the percentage of Jewish Americans in the population:
Well, so what? So maybe the ads wound up there by mistake or MLB isn’t paying much attention to where their ads wind up. Maybe the ads are only popping up for people who are MLB fans who are also hanging out on white nationalist X accounts. But X offers advertisers a “Do Not Reach” list, which allows advertisers to keep their ads from appearing on certain accounts, like, say, the accounts of creators who are regularly racist, or anti-Semitic. And, like the NFL, MLB definitely has the money, and the resources to ensure that their ads don’t wind up in places that give the appearance that MLB is, if not officially endorsing the bad speech, at least neutral to it.
Worse, X has recently begun paying content creators based on the number of ads shown to other verified users, and many of those payments wound up going to creators who spew far-right talking points, like Ian Miles Cheong, Benny Johnson, and Andrew Tate. Way of the World is, of course, a verified account, which means they pay eight dollars a month to Elon Musk in order for the privilege preference within X’s algorithm and a wide reach. Potentially, ads from pro sports leagues could contribute to enriching the owners of sites like Way of the World.
Here are some of the MLB ads and the Way of the World posts they appeared in close proximity to.
Now that Musk has taken over X and killed everything about the platform that at least attempted to keep out misinformation, Nazis, and hate-mongers in general, professional sports teams like MLB, who reported over $10 billion in revenue in 2022, are obligated to keep a better eye on what Musk’s site is doing with their advertising dollars.
Deadspin reached out to MLB for comment, but at the time of publication, the league had not returned our call. We will update this piece if we hear back.
Original source here
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