Elon Musk Criticizes Disney’s Ad Spending Amid Meta Platforms Child Exploitation Allegations

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By Ronald Tech

Elon Musk’s Critique

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has once again taken a swipe at Walt Disney Co.’s advertising expenditure on Mark Zuckerberg-led Meta Platforms Inc., despite the Facebook parent’s child exploitation-related controversies.

Recent Developments

What Happened: On Friday, Musk took to X, formerly Twitter, and shared an article by The Wall Street Journal titled “Meta Staff Found Instagram Tool Enabled Child Exploitation. The Company Pressed Ahead Anyway.”

He said, “And yet [Disney] spends billions on advertising with Meta.”

Allegations and Investigations

The report in question by WSJ suggested that two teams within Meta sounded alarms when they discovered that hundreds of “parent-managed minor accounts” were using the subscription feature to market exclusive content to paying followers.

This content often featured young girls in swimwear and leotards. It was targeted towards a predominantly male audience which overtly expressed sexual interest in the children through comments on posts or direct communication with the parents.

Investigations conducted by individuals familiar with the matter concluded that the payment feature was rolled out without basic child-safety safeguards in place.

Significance of Musk’s Criticism

Why It Matters: This isn’t the first time Musk has criticized Disney’s advertising choices. The tech mogul has previously expressed disapproval over companies pulling out ads from his social media platform X and increasing their ad spending on Instagram.

Disney’s increased ad spending on Instagram is a controversial move given these allegations. It’s especially notable considering that Disney and other major companies had previously paused their ad spend on Musk’s platform X.

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A Sensor Tower report from December stated that Disney and Comcast have raised their investment in Zuckerberg’s Instagram by 40% and 6%, respectively, during the two weeks beginning Nov. 20.